Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rainy day items



Lee Harris
, whose work I have enjoyed, seems to be back to writing again. His piece on whether Iran is a "rational actor" is exemplary. People assume that if a group is a "rational actor" then they are like "us" and can be easily dealt with. Way too simple. Rational actors can be as dangerous as irrational ones.

Reminds me of the knee-jerk criticism that when you are hard on a particular group you are guilty of "dehumanizing" them. Well, when conflicts reach a certain pitch, a lot of that happens, and necessarily so, if you want to survive. Cause you can bet that they're gonna dehumanize you. But the groups I dislike, no matter what I call them, are dangerous to me and what I value precisely because they are human. The feral gang, for example. Or one of Obama's sons. If they were Orcs, they'd be less dangerous.

Watched a mid-80's PD James mystery last night. The lead detective wore a three-piece corduroy suit in earthtones. I had one just like it. Except for the color, I still like the look.

Referring to an earlier post, I was wondering where in the blogosphere or public life do most of the speech codes and intellectual taboos lie. Every group has them, but it seems to me that it is in the domains ruled by the progressive, enlightened, open-minded and forward-looking that you have by far the largest energy for generating Shut Up-ness. The descendants of the Berkeley Free Speech movement created university Speech Codes. Big Brother in bell bottoms. Funny how that happens.

Still enjoying a line from Samuel Huntington about the political change brought about by the Sixties Generation: the arrogance of power was replaced by the arrogance of morality.

An amusing switching of places between troglodyte Catholicism of yesteryear and the splendid ethics of the Secular HighMinded: "error has no rights." Aquinas compared the punishment of heretics with the punishment of counterfeiters: if the State protects its economy by force and coercion against producers of false money, how much more the immortal souls of believers against the producers of false religion? In our day, the issues have changed and the inquisitors wear different clothes, but the mindset continues.

I was waiting for a friend at a local cafe yesterday afternoon. Unlike today, it was bright and temperate. Though I tried to distract myself in the meanwhile by reading on my smart phone about Israel's problems with Iran (scary stuff), I could not help but overhear the conversations around me for a half hour. I know it's judgmental, but inane is the word. (And these were straight people, by the way, mixed male and female.) I humbly hope that when my friend arrived, our gabbing was not quite as inane.  I used to have a theory that since God is omnipresent and can, indeed must by definition "hear" not only all the conversations the human race has ever had,  but all the thoughts in our billions of heads, to say nothing of all the prayers, that He was long ago driven mad.

I take Blogger for granted. Even grouse now and then about some of its features. But really, it's amazing. And totally free.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jumping up and down about 'totalitarianism' in the MSM that shuts down discussion of 'forbidden' topics seems only to draw attention to the reality that in fact the media system somehow draws attention to the "forbidden." Was this your point in a previous post, where you opine that yhwh's designating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil forbidden* to Adam?

*provisionally forbidden: don't eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil unless you want to surely die (2:7). Evidently mere qabala or 'tradition' (as Strauss notes) has extended this provisional forbidding to Eve although with some differences (3:3) and indeed Eve's death isn't mention'd in the Bible (?woman as biophilic sc Death or death bringer to bios Man who loves death: how could death die? 1Cor 15:54 says only that Death is swallow'd up).

The ostensible forbiddenness of race & IQ etc makes these realities seem more appealing, and indeed more real, more true than they really are. Even if IQ were an accurate measure of what Nietzsche calls esprit, there is no intelligibility in focusing this primarily on 'racial' or as some prefer "ethnicity" (y as usd l[amba] eth nici sword or genealogy: lethe oblivion to Nietzschean genealogy).

Admittedly, intelligence in the ordinary sense, which enables one to do more or less well on IQ SAT etc tests, but the irreplaceables may well suppose that the things that an intelligent population group can do aren't necessarily the desideratum for the future. Hitler's SS (the 'dead bodies' manufactured in the camps as Heidegger said) were the trans-racial ruling caste that Hitler experimented with for Europe's domestic domination needs were not especially of high IQ. Perhaps one can get a more serviceable compliant sort of obedientness out of the unintelligent than the intelligent. Not that compliant esprit-free obedient will-to-power is a better obedience: it's only more compliant and not-revaluational. To obey as a dead body would obey -- Ignatius Loyola once exhorted his corps.

Nevertheless, obedient domination doesn't require intelligence. "Power makes stupid," Nietzsche advises. The ostensible 'genocide' of the smart, by encouraging smart people in Europe and Ango-Saxony to go for career and lifestyle and dismiss raising families, may make a lot of "sense" after all. So also Japan's 'demographic suicide.'

As for China's demographics, I can admit that it would be interesting (maybe especially in terms of demographic results for the Chinese character) to read in future history books, as one today reads in history books of ancient Rome, if China remedies its dearth of daughters by invasion of its neighbours or even by exacting tribute from distant lands, that is, in a new version of the "Rape of the Sabinae." In terms of real experience it would be utterly wretched, and appalling to view. But such things "happen."

Anonymous said...

Ex Cathedra directed us recently to Randall Robinson's "The Debit: What [Contemporary Whites in] America Owes to Blacks." I was dismay'd to read Mr Robinson (who now resides in the Caribbean in order to be free from race and colour valuations) implying in a 2000 interview that blacks can be sure that they as a racial population group would have as high IQs as Jews and Oriental Asians (since Gould argues that the influence of culture plus mistakes and malice of previous group-IQ researchers prove that Darwinian randomness has arranged for all identifiable population groups to have the same average IQ, SAT ability etc). (If randomness arranged for the white Gentile population group to have a lower intrinsic average IQ than the Jewish population group, then it would be possible for this same randomness to have produced different intrinsic average IQ for the black population group and the white population group. But blacks and whites have the same intrinsic average IQ; therefore Gentile whites and Jewish whites have the same intrinsic average IQ. QED.

The dismayingness is in the implication that
all blacks must feel that 'internalized racism' etc has really done a number on them. They'd be as smart as Jews were it not for Bull Connors and the KKK plus the infinite subtleties of 'systemic' racism. If this truth seems impossible then (as I guess, being capable only of 'whitesplaining') they could easily give up and decide that Hitler et al are right and they're worthless n-----s after all.

I don't say that 'stereotype intimidation' etc as research'd by Claude Steele has no influence on self-confidence and on motivation to continue difficult intellectual tasks. Evidently this sort of factor has some affect even white Gentiles vis-a-vis Jewish and Asian abilities.

Nevertheless all these things keep attention focus'd away from the question of real value. Much closer, in my opinion, was the theological statement of American Purusha by Christian, black NFL star Reggie White, in which he naively affirm'd the four constituent racial population groups as he experienced them. His statement reminds me rather of Nietzsche's esteem for four valuational peoples in TSZ "1001 Goals."

What is the worldly valuation of race-IQ-hype arranged by liberal forbidders and rightwing 'truth'tellers? I suppose a Zarathustran description would say this »You shall always be a workaholic for IQ ands SAT excellence and then career excellence in the post-value career scramble. You shall not love unless it be your tiger mother and your special help tutor and extra educator.«

And if this is foreground is easily seen through, then true value no doubt will be attain'd by its inversion, namely to be an intimidating gang member etc -- who isn't afraid to die young etc.

Admittedly lawyering in 'loyalty to my profession' and never 'staying home and baking cookies' can be a way of gang fighting. But it isn't esprit in axiomachy or wars of valuation. ...

If axiomachy arrives, then women as warriors (Thus Spoke Zarathustra: re-creating the warrior, sc improving, transcending the warrior ) will be more advantageously placed as mothers than as workaholic 'account managers' etc. I think Plato does men an advantage when he removes women from motherhood if they are going to participate in war.

Anonymous said...

Re future axiomachy, cf Hegel, The Philosophy of History, Sibree 1955, pp. 83ff, esp 86f).

Mr Robinson brings in Herodotus' account (but not the Bible's account, unless hinted at in "other historians") of the function of Ethiopia or Cush, but asserts that these things are unknown to American blacks "in great measure because of slavery" etc, sc not because black clergy don't declare the Bible's doctrine:

»Number one, unlike perhaps any other people in the United States, perhaps indeed in the world, African Americans, and Africans to some large extent, are people who have had sight lines to their long histories blocked altogether. We don’t know very much about who we were before the slave trade. And so, African American children have, like amnesiacs, been fitted with the histories of a people. And so, they have no sense that Greek civilization, that Western civilization that was derived from it was in the — originally derived from Egypt before the arrival of Arabs — Black Egypt was arrived from Ethiopia, was derived rather from inner Africa, that Greece’s gods, their calendar, the division of the year into twelve parts, astronomy, mathematics, science, the carving of stone figures; all of these things, Herodotus, and other historians, credit to inner Africa. But African American children don’t have any sense of that at all, in a large part because of slavery.«

He then goes on to a philistine focus on money earn'd by slaves but never pay'd to them. Which keeps the meaning of Herodotus and the Bible not understood. While also making blacks feel (as I guess) the victims of tremendously subtle forces: if not for internalized racism we would be striding to the head of the class in astronomy, mathematics, science, etc. ... It's like that movie starring the chief inspector from Miami Vice that browbeats Hispanics by reference to the Mayan Incan Aztec empires: you should be architecturally mathematically astronomically excellence with ancestry like that.

Admittedly, the debt America (camA canna? + eric eris, strife?) owes to Cush (Ham's ego or son Black into Canaan) may be "the curse of Ham" sc upon his son Canaan, who is enslaved to his brothers Ham, Shem and Japheth because Ham gave only a half-genealogy to Canaan or Africa (Genesis 9). But this is an improvement over no genealogy, as the chandalas have. (Shem Clotho only weaves cultural tents with the half-genealogical threads given by Ham Lachesis; Japheth Aleph-tropos shoves his benighted personnel into the tents for obedience training.) (Lots of quasi-civilized stuff can go on apart from genealogy.)

Ham in TZS is the rope-dancer who attempts to cross the abyss of genealogy and falls. Zarathustra places his corpse (sc Canaan) in the tree (of knowledge of good and evil). ¶¶8, 9, 10 of the Prologue are dedicated to Nietzsche's Ham, Shem, Japheth (Machiavelli: Nigro, Severo, Albino). The preceding ¶¶ start from the Nietzschean bright Sun Shamash ¶1 and proceed in Copernican Genesis 1 sequence to Saturn Ninurta ¶7).

Hegel mostly conceals these things too -- from Germany-Canaan, and a fortiori from us (p. 82), Europe's chandalas or ejecta. But he does allow that Herodotus holds that elevation arrives in Egypt because of an Ethiopian or Cushite Pharaoh (The Philosophy of History, Sibree 1955, p. 205)

Anonymous said...

Hegel signifies Ham's improvement of Canaan by the "Upland" in Africa, and he allows that the Nile is a valley-draining river.

But basically "Shut up," Hegel the obscurantist explains:
»Africa [sc Canaanites] proper, as far as History goes back, has remained — for all purposes of connection with the rest of the World — shut up; it is the Gold-land compressed within itself — the land of childhood, which lying beyond the day of self-conscious history, is enveloped in the dark mantle of Night. Its isolated character originates, not merely in its tropical nature, but essentially in its geographical condition.«

Canaan lacks in his first ego Cush a true 'ego ideal' in terms of life or being (ego ideal as supply'd by Descartes in the argument that the ego's ideas are greater than he and must therefore have arrived from a greater):
»In Negro life the characteristic point is the fact that consciousness has not yet attained to the realization of any substantial objective existence — as for example, God, or Law — in which the interest of man’s volition is involved and in which he realizes his own being.

»This distinction between himself as an individual and the universality of his essential being, the African in the [sc military] uniform, undeveloped oneness of his existence has not yet attained; so that the Knowledge of an absolute Being, an Other and a Higher than his individual self, is entirely wanting.

»The Negro, as already observed, ex-hibits[sc puts into the outside, the world?] the natural man in his completely wild and untamed state. We must lay aside all thought of reverence and morality — all that we call feeling — if we would rightly comprehend him; there is nothing harmonious with humanity to be found in this type of character.

»... and Islamism appears to be the only thing which in any way brings the Negroes within the range of culture. The Islamists too understand better than the Europeans, how to penetrate into the interior of the country.

»The grade of culture which the Negroes occupy may be more nearly appreciated by considering the aspect which Religion presents among them. That which forms the basis of religious conceptions is the consciousness on the part of man of a Higher Power [cf "power is the name of the game, my friends" "power ‘politics’" "power interests" etc] — even though this is conceived only as a vis natures — in relation to which he feels himself a weaker, humbler being.

»Religion begins with the consciousness that there is something higher than man. But even Herodotus called the Negroes sorcerers [sc with power over the gods, the polynesian mana residing in objects, etc]: — now in Sorcery we have not the idea of a God, of a moral faith; it exhibits man as the highest power, regarding him as alone occupying a position of command over the power of Nature [and thus having no way of plausibly denying karmic responsibility].

»We have here[sc in Hegelian Europe] therefore nothing to do with a spiritual adoration of God, nor with an empire of Right. God thunders, but is not on that account recognized as God. For the soul of man, God must be more than a thunderer, whereas among the Negroes this is not the case.«

No way to deny karma except, that is, blaming the ancestors:
»There [not 'here'] is however one feature that points to something beyond; — the Worship of the Dead — in which their deceased forefathers and ancestors are regarded by them as a power influencing the living.«

Anonymous said...

»In the contempt of humanity displayed by the Negroes, it is not so much a despising of death as a want of regard for life that forms the characteristic feature.« And as Nietzsche says the wise tacitly agree that their mere bios in selfs is no good.

In order to stave off this reckoning, Hegel philistinely proposes various objects as purposes, e.g. I guess 'culture' 'art' (unless revaluation of being and values in THE object): »Life has a value
only when it has something valuable as its object.«

Phoenicians or Canaanites founded Carthage a.k.a. "Africa", but be-longing toward Asia, Dawn or Ham: »Carthage displayed there an important transitionary phase of civilization; but, as a Phoenician colony, it belongs to Asia.«

As against genealogy and Heidegger's revelation of the horizons given by Time to the being (the canaanite), Hegel would use philosophy to keep us lost, super-busy and militarily occupy'd by busy-work task masters:
The future »has no interest for us here, for, as regards History, our concern must be with that which has been and that which is. In regard to Philosophy, on the other hand, we have to do with that which (strictly speaking) is neither past nor future, but with that which is, which has an eternal existence — with Reason; and this is quite sufficient to occupy us.«

Sure we may consider future scenarios, but we are to not connect these future scenarios with the meaning of "Be."

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