Saturday, March 03, 2012

Saturday morning coffee

(I want to say this very quietly, so as not to attract the notice of the gods, but my laptop's graphic card problems seem to have passed. I updated the driver on it and the incidents of the dancing fuzzies lessened, until now it has been 36 hours without one. Fingers crossed.)

One of the more deranged lefty homos commenting at GayPatriot went on a tear about how contraception is a necessity for women's interests because "control of reproduction is a fundamental human right" and the Catholic objection to it is superstitious, despotic and dangerous so the government is correct to step in and make the Church provide it. Free.

On these grounds I don't see why it should not have an abortion mandate, as well.

On my way to the gym, I was thinking about the Constitution and its origin. Is it incorrect to say that the Framers were aiming above all at providing a government that was robust enough to actually unite the 13 colony/states (unlike the Articles of Confederation) but at the same time was clearly limited in its powers? Is it off base to say that the American Constitution was fundamentally aimed at restraining the very state it created because governmental power (either in hands of monarchs or mobs) was the fundamental fear of the Founding Fathers?

Except where religion serves the progressive "social justice" agenda of envying wealth and "liberating the oppressed du jour" , it is an obstacle to State power, which is at the heart of progressivism. Secularism, one of the Seven Pillars, so overemphasizes the first half of the Religion Clause --non-establishment-- that it drowns out the second: free exercise. They like to talk about "freedom of worship", not freedom of religion, in order to confine religion to private enclaves and render it voiceless in the public square except when playing the acolyte.

A three-part series on Athens' Golden Age and fall reveals the great weakness of democracy --and democracy was not a word the Founding Fathers liked--- in its vulnerability to group moodiness and its fondness for strong leaders who inevitably overstep. A "democratic" mob is little different in principle from a hereditary monarch : just a group of tyrant wannabees. The republican form which Madison  provided is primarily concerned with constraining ambition by means of countervailing ambitions. "Constitutional scholar" Obama seems just to have discovered that the Founders' document very imperfect* negative document makes it hard to do whatever you want. Not impossible, just hard.

*As a Senator he lamented that the old white men had not provided for redistribution of wealth...


Anonymous said...

in my high-and-mighty opinion, what democracy most lacks is "the buck stops with me" (dixit Truman).

It's true that ambition can motivate men to corrupt constitutional rule, and ambition of a few can congrue with a popular attitude that one would like cradle-to-grave security provided by social programmes -- even though this security will be interpreted as the fruits of one's "Resistance!" and "Struggle!"

Nevertheless, the ambitious will be seen to be "concern'd" only for the popularly "good" items. A proposal by the Canadian prime minister to raise the eventual age for receiving social insurance ('social security' here) from 65 to 67 was condemn'd as "War On The Elderly" by journalists and activists et al who would be seen as popularly good, committed to the struggle for stuff and so on.

Since they will receive only blame for responsibility for Jungian Shadow items on the agenda such as limiting the population's infinite demands for health care spending, the elected officials and other random 'elites' will seem to be somehow failing to notice difficult items on their desks, for instance the accumulation of a debt burden that seems about to overwhelm the federal government.

One would rather have inquests into contraception costs and usage than recommending not kicking a huge burden of debt down the road - since taking responsibility for maintaining the government and thus its ability to do social spending will only be vilify'd as war on the most vulnerable.

Or the elected and even the ambitious will seem to be real-world necessarily focus'd on short-term goals -- for instance that congressmen are so necessarily focus'd "simply on getting re-elected every two years" that they weren't able to notice an accumulating debt burden.

The elected and even the ambitious will even prefer to seem wholly incompetent rather than EVIL. ... The third last place the Shadow will be honour'd is in Congress. (The last and second-last places will be the UCC and the conclave of Catholic diocesan experts on social justice -- and I'm not sure in which order. ... Pat Robertson at least does heavy lifting when he maintains a daimonic worldview and blames Haiti's misfortunes on Satan and God's displeasure with Satan. Why won't Robertson lift a bit heavier and declare that Satan is the real chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee? ... Satan is the original responsibility-grabber, thus the original ambitious personage. Doesn't Jung observe in "Answer to Job" that Satan is the only 'son of God' who amounts to much?

Anonymous said...

Montesquieu's system of divided powers does frustrate any obvious sort of ambition in a president -- as long as ambition and envy remain vital in Congress and the Judiciary. But this means a Congress and a Judiciary driven by members that want to accept responsibility for the whole, and not simply for idealistically 'good' intentions.

A demos that sends up politicians who would rather seem incompetent and lazy than evil and responsible is a demos with a fail'd obedient will-to-power system. The Framers' Montesquieuean system assumes a political class composed of ambitious Romans. Desublimation undid the vitality (for evil AND good) of the ancient Romans, and apparently has undone the vitality of Anglo-Saxony.

Montesquieu and the Framers don't have a solution for a desublimated population, because he assumed that the Western demos (just then winding up for the French Revolution) would not be so feckless as to demand desublimation in moral culture.

This demotic self-restraint was so depended upon that to the educated class of Anglo-Saxony and western Europe generally that the proposal by George Eliot et al for Christian morals (repression and sublimation) free'd from Christian doctrine seem'd not only desireable but also eminently practical.

What isn't practical is the abolition of Christian morals while retaining limited government. ... Marcuse de Sade isn't even more truthful than George Eliot, who makes clear that the world must remain a vale of tears -- because repression and sublimation must continue.

Marcuse merely complains that unhappiness is unhappy, as though Freud both admitted as much and pretended not to notice. Marcuse draws the conclusion that every Self's abstract preference for natural happiness rather than natural unhappiness (and supernatural happiness) proves that natural happiness will result from letting it all hang out.

Anonymous said...

Curious, though, that the obligation to include contraception etc in medical prescription insurance wasn't brought to the public's attention long ago.

I mean, it suddenly burst upon the scene with an out-of-nowhere new requirement from the executive branch. Why in 2012, and not during President Clinton's administrations, say? ...

And I am surprised that as a member of the educated class of Anglo-Saxony the proper sound rationale for why contraceptive prescriptions are routine medical care, and not something like elective cosmetic surgery, doesn't occur to me automatically. ALL the proper rationales and gynmastic flips, not-noticings, rankings and subtleties of the proper opinion on any and ALL "issues" occur to me automatically.

... Obviously contraceptive medicine is serious medicine, and therefore rightly isn't available over the counter as condoms are. But if sex is a lifestyle option, contraception and whatever else (e.g., lingerie) one opts to use in sex seems in the same category as cosmetic surgery. Or if contraception is medically necessary, then condoms also should be pay'd for by one's prescription medical insurance -- although presumably the co-pay would be higher than the cost of the condoms. ... In fact, sex presumably really isn't a lifestyle option for many wives and girlfriends, but if I may say so rather a cost included in their cost-benefit calculation of having a husband or boyfriend. But conservatives and liberals agree, apparently, not to raise the question for guys (a question that doesn't occur spontaneously, alas) how sex that is unwelcome to wife or girlfriend can be enjoy'd. ...

Occurs to me that covering contraception is cheaper and more medically preferable and even more moral than abortion (not to mention social engineering of various goals), and in fact I feel no animus against including contraceptive prescriptions in routine medical insurance. But still feels odd that this new requirement comes out of nowhere and suddenly, and that the proper moral stance isn't pre-packaged.

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