Monday, August 11, 2014

Can Conservatism Save Us

In the last two years, my mind has been dominated by the question: "Can Modern Conservatism save us from the problems caused by Modern Progressivism?"

The answer, of course, is a resounding NO!

The US Founders had a Liberal Arts education steeped in classical logic and Christian ethics. They applied classical logic to the question of governance. They realized that government is a limiting force on people and that, by creating a Constitutionally limited central government, they could create an unlimited people.

Conservatism is a reactionary partisan ideology of the 1800s that accepted the framework of modern logic and co-evolved with Modern Liberalsim (also known as Progressivism).

Conservatives often trace their intellectual heritage to Plato, Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes and Edmund Burke. (Edmund Burke was a member of the British Parliament.)

Yes, the current breed of Conservatives love playing on the image of the founders, but conservatism and the ideals of the US Founders are fundamentally different. 

It is impossible to restore the American Experiment in Self Rule by pursuing a path which is fundamentally at odds with the ideals of the US Founders.

Yes, Republicans love waving the Constitution, but I beg Republicans to tell me where the Republican Party appears in the Constitution!

It doesn't.

The great Left/Right divide that dominates all aspects of modern politics came in the generations after the Founders.

The Left/Right split of the French Revolution was one with a radical left seeking a fundamental change in the social order and the reactionary right seeking to preserve the class structure of the ancient regime.

This split led France to ruin.

Why is it that the GOP is so dedicated to this split?

The US Founders engaged in a rational discussion about the foundations of government.

Conservatism is a reactionary movement to preserve a class structure. The idea that a reactionary movement to impose a class structure will restore a rational argument about the role of governance is absurd.

Anyway, Conservatives trace their ideology to Plato, Machiavelli, 'Hobbes and Burke.  By following theses philosophies one ends up undermining the American Experiment in Self Rule.

People here wave the flag and promote the image of the US Founders but suppress rational discourse.

I spent six solid years with the goal of finding a conservative willing to discuss free market health care reform only to discover that Conservatives have no interest in preserving freedom.

I jokingly refer to Utah as the most conservative state West of Iran.

Conservatives here often profess a deep hatred for all things liberal. When I look to the Middle East, I fear that I am seeing the direction that Conservative ideology leads.

When I look at ISIS and Hamas, I see right wing religious zealots who hate and denounce the US and Israel as Liberal. Conservatives are partisans who hate liberals. Hamas and ISIS are conservative partisan groups lobbing missiles at Israel and beheading Christians because they see these groups as a Liberal threat.

Here in the US, loud screeching partisans pronounce a deep hatred for all things liberal then shove everyone aside in their grub at political power.

I live in the most conservative capitol west of Tehran. This notion that people denounced as liberal must be driven out of the community and the Conservative oligarchy must suppress political debate leads a free society to ruin.

Conservatives and their intent on restoring the class structure of the ancient regime leads to serfdom just as progressives with their faith in a totalitarian state leads to serfdom. Conservatives, who are seeking the restore the class structure of serfdom are actually taking a more direct road to serfdom than the progressives.

ISIS is a right wing group of religious zealots. ISIS and Hamas are shades of Conservatism.

The US Founders wanted to avoid the factions of Europe. This Left/Right split was an import of European factions. The Radical Left and Reactionary Right create a sounding board that magnify the troubles of the day and allow the formation of a ruling elite.

The Left/Right split amplifies conflict until people are divided into warring factions willing to follow strong leaders who will oppose their partisan opponent.

If we wish to restore the promise of America, we must reject this Left/Right split. Marching down the path of conservatism does not lead to freedom, it amplifies the split and leads to an entrenched class based society.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Perception Filters and Absolutism

A guy is getting a large number of retweets with a banner saying:

"With all this 'gun control' talk I haven't heard one politician say how they plan to take guns from criminals, just law abiding citizens."

When I listen to the gun control debate, I hear people driven by a desire to keep guns out of criminal hands. The primary focus of many gun control laws is criminal background checks, certification classes and waiting periods designed specifically to keep guns out of criminal hands. There is a slew of criminal law and probation law aimed specifically at convicted criminals.

The guy posted this message and those retweeting it are all admitting to a perception filter.

One of the biggest problems in discourse today is that people neither listen to nor try to understand the arguments of others. We simply lump the people on the other side of the partisan divide into a single category, dismiss their arguments and deflect.

Personally, I think a large part of this problem came about because people trying to defend the American way stupidly accepted the label "conservative."

One of the synonyms of "conservative" is "closed-minded."

Americans have traditionally been one of the most open-minded and rational people on the planet. By trying to adapt to the image of "conservatism" people start acting in foolish ways.

There are people on the left who want an absolute ban on guns. These absolutists play the same game. They dismiss the arguments in favor of the second amendment. They project false images on their opponents and deflect any criticism of their poisition.

Yes, a person who is arguing for a gun ban is not arguing for a balanced system of gun control.  The person arguing for gun bans is arguing for a complete criminalization of gun ownership.

Undoubtedly, these absolutists are not engaged in open conversation. However, when we look back at the conservative banner we see a reactionary who used one absolutist position to justify another. The term "not one" is an an absolutist statement.

"With all this 'gun control' talk I haven't heard one politician say how they plan to take guns from criminals, just law abiding citizens."

I love this statement because it shows clearly how people hone their perception filters into absolutes.

I suspect that the people retweeted this post were so focused on showing the absolutism of their foes, they failed to see the absolute introduced into their tweet stream.

Unfortunately, the process of developing perception filters is inherent in the label "conservative."

I think that people who had learned logic and who were truly engaged in the defense of liberty, such as our nation's founders, would have caught this error. For this error is a grave error.

Our partisan perception filters ultimately destroy our ability to communicate allowing the political class to divide us into warring factions which invariably lets the worst in our society rise to the top.

Through the years I've realized that the most common form of absolutism is the projection of absolutism on others. If Peter projects absolutism on Paul, Peter is the absolutist, not Paul.

If I develop a perception filter where I see all your statements in absolutes, then I am the one who is bing the absolutist.

(OOPS: I lost track of the tweet with this banner. It was retweeted in my time line multiple times.)

Friday, August 01, 2014

On Divergent Philosophies

I see two distinct approaches to governance.

The straightforward approach starts with the simple question: What is the best way to govern a society?

A second approach begins when a group sees itself as a ruling class. The members of the ruling class then ask: "How do we rule over those people?"

This ruling class mentality creates an environment where the conversation taking place among the leaders diverges from the conversation taking place among the people. I will call this approach divergent politics.

I believe that the US Founders were sincerely engaged in a straightfoward about organizing society.

The US Founders had a Liberal Arts Education steeped in classical logic and Judeo/Christian ethics. They applied classical logic to the question of liberty and created a Federation of States with a Constitutionally limited central government.

I like to call the application of a classical education to liberty "Classical Liberal."

The founders despised the factions that controlled Europe. Oddly, the Left/Right split that dominates all aspects of American political actually came from the European factions the founders disliked.

Partisans seek power by dividing the people into warring factions.

In the French Revolution, the faction on the left sought radical social change while the faction on the right sought the preservation of the class structure of the ancient regime.

Partisans in the 1800s adopted a modern logic that denied the foundations of classical logic and created the extremely devisive forms of discourse that we see in politics today.

The invention of modern logic is a historical oddity. It just so happens that the Hanoverian Kings of England (King George I, II, III, etc.) were German. The Hanoverian Kings of England financed much of the German University system. After the US Revolution, the monarchy tasked the German University with finding ways to frame the monarchy as progressive. The universities responded by creating a new way of thinking called modern logic. This modern logic turns classical logic upside down. Modern logic presents paradoxical word games that framed freedom as slavery and slavery freedom.

Classical logic is the foundation of science. People put together syllogisms and see how well the syllogisms describe reality.

Modern logic is a bizarre system that places paradox at the foundation of reason and conflict at the surface. A fundamental premise of modern logic is that meaning of terms change with usage. This muffling of meaning is called "sublation." Terms often take on opposite meanings.

The classical liberal sought to limit government and empower individuals. Modern liberals sublated the term "liberal" and seek an unlimited government with regulated individuals.

I believe that both the left and right (progessive and conservative) are inherently divergent. Both the left and right have adopted modern logic as given.

Politicians on the left encourage rhetoric about unity, economic inequalities, and social justice. Once in power politicians divide people into warring factions. They then reward their friends and punish their enemies. In doing so the creates greater economic inequality and social injustice, but are able to skirt the issue by projecting their faults on the conservatives.

Politicians on the conservative right invoke images of the US founders and promote public talk about liberty and limited government. When in power, conservatives expand government in attempts to legislate morality then engage in the process of rewarding friends and punishing enemies.

Members of the Tea Party are perplexed in that the GOP keeps putting forward candidates such as Eric Cantor who come to power arguing for limited government. Once in power, Cantor became a defender of the machine.

This duplicity is inherent in "conservatism."

Remember, conservatism came from the French Revolution. The goal of conservatism was to preserve the class structure of the ancient regime. Modern logic was created by the monarchy. Conservatives adopted this bizarre modern logic as it allows conservatives to campaign on the image of the US Founders will supporting economic and political centralization.

I've been reading histories of the conservative movement. Intellectuals who self-indentify with "conservatism" tend to trace their beliefs to the likes of Leo Strauss, Edmund Burke, Thomas Hobbes, Machiavelli and Plato.

Thinkers like Hayek tend to identify with the classical liberal tradition.

The US Founders came before the left right split. They came before DeStutt de Tracy coined the term "ideology." The founders had a classical liberal arts education steeped in classical logic and Judeo/Christian ethics. They applied this education to the question of liberty and came up with a Federation of States with a constitutionally limited central government and protection of individual rights.

When one applies classical logic to the question of liberty one finds themself on a similar path as the founders.

The US Founders predated the Age of Ideology. I believe the best name for the path the founders followed is "classical liberal."

Modern Liberalism (progressivism) and Modern Conservatism are partisan ideologies that developed in the generations after the founders.

The partisans who create these grand political philosophies were seeking to rise to power by dividing people into factions.

Both the Left and Right developed divergent philosophies. Politicians on both the left and right have developed systems in which they say onething to get power then work on consolidating power once in power.

It is the modern logic at the heart of modern conservatism that created the dynamics of the modern GOP which holds a divergent philosophy in which members of the GOP campaign on the image of the founders (Classical Liberals) then impose the leviathan of Thomas Hobbes once in power.

If you are looking for people who are sincere about restoring the American Experiment in Self Rule, you will not find them in conservatism, because the underlying divergent philosophy of conservatism will always undermine efforts to restore the classical liberal ideals of the founders.

The duplicity of Conservatism is not surprising. Both Modern Conservatism and Progressivism (Modern Liberalism) are partisan ideologies that came from Europe and are based on a corrupt system of modern logic that was created with the express intent of framing the monarchy as progressive.

The goal of these partisan ideologies is to rise to power by dividing people into factions. Both sides of this false dichotomy seek political and economic centralization. Both sides of the partisan divide have narratives which diverge from their policies.

Both Modern Liberalism and Modern Conservatism accept modern logic as their foundations.

The two sides of a coin are made of the same metal. Because of the nature of conservatism it is incapable of breaking us out of the malaise created by Obama and the Modern Liberals and Modern Progressives.

Don;t you get it? The Left/Right split came from European intellectuals. The Left reached its ultimate expression with Communism and the right with Fascism. The end result of both the left and the right are the same.

You will not find the path to restoring America by reading Leo Strauss, Edmund Burke, Thomas Hobbes, Machiavelli or even Plato.

We could restore America if people were to apply classical logic to the question of liberty as was done by the US Founders (aka classical liberalism).

Unfortunately, this conversation cannot take place in the ranks of the GOP because Conservatives believe they must drive classical liberals (Hayek, et al) out of the party.

Conservatism is a reactionary ideology of the 1800s that seeks to restore the class structure of the ancient regime while playing on the image US Founders. Modern Cosnervatism, as the name implies, flows from Modern Logic. It is inherently divergent. If we want to restore America, we need to engage in the straightforward conversation that comes by applying classical logic to the question of liberty.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Conservatism and The Establishment

A "conservative," by definition, is a person who prefers the established over the innovative.

It's puzzling to watch conservative commentators make hay about a supposed conflict between conservatives and the establishment.

This conflict, of course, is due to the inherent duplicity of conservatism.

Modern Conservatism is a partisan ideology that uses freedom rhetoric to gain power. Once in power conservatives use their power to reward friends, punish enemies and promote economic centralization at the cost of the general welfare.

The base ideology of conservatism is an ugly thing that traces to Plato, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Burke, Hegel, Leo Strauss, etc. If you are looking for a good read on the foundations of Conservatism, you might like Machiavelli's Virtue by the esteemed conservative scholar Harvey Mansfield.

(BTW, if you prefer writers such as Hayek, Adam Smith, the US Founders, ..., you aren't a conservative, you are actually a classical liberal).

Machiavelli taught the prince that he must strive to appear religious without actually being religious.

Translated into modern times, a conservative must appear to be for free market reform while actually being for economic and political centralization.

Since conservatism is duplicitous by nature, pundits in the conservative movement must periodically come up with excuses to explain away the chasm between what conservatives say to get office and what they actually do once in office.

In some ways, I believe that this current talk about a civil war between conservatives and the establishment is just such an excuse.

Come on guys! A conservative, by the very definition of conservative, favors the consolidation of power into the hands of an elite establishment. Claiming that there is a conflict between conservatism and ultimate desires of conservatism is absurd.

There is a huge conflict between what many people believe conservatism to be and what conservatism really is.

Since conservatism is inherently duplicitous there is no way to resolve this conflict.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Party of Truth!?

Many members of the GOP hold truth in esteem, while it is fashion for Democrats to declare truth relative.

There is a temptation to take this assumption and make the bold declaration that the GOP is the Party of Truth while the Democratic Party is the Party of Moral Relativism or outright lies.

While the declaration that the GOP is the Party of Truth might appeal to some conservatives. The declaration itself is quite absurd.

The classical western view is that there is a truth, but that humans lack the intellectual capacity or perspective to see this truth in its entirety. We hold truth in esteem but recognize our perspective is limited.

Political parties are the creation of man. Parties are just subject to the limits of man. As the flawed creation of man, parties tend to magnify human errors.

The "collective conscious" of a political party is not a superior being. The "collective conscious" of a political party is an accumulation of all the misperceptions held by the members of the party.

A party is not some sort of superior conscious. Political parties are ever changing political constructs that fluctuate with the political winds. Personally, I would never place faith in a party because parties are fickle and change through a process of action/reaction.

Modern conservatism is a partisan ideology that coevolved with modern progressivism. Conservatism and progressivism transform through action and reaction.

Quite often parties end up swapping positions in the never ending grub for political power. A few generations ago, Conservatives were the ones arguing for conservation and civil rights. Progressives captured these issues. Today, conservatives argue for moderation on civil rights and the environment.

Partisan ideology is a product of a political process and changes with the ebb and flow of political fortune.

While individual conservatives might hold truth in high esteem, conservatism itself does not. Nor can it.

The US Founders had a classical liberal arts education. Classical liberal arts was founded on the Trivium. The three legs of the trivium are grammar, logic and rhetoric. Logic refers to the classical analytic logic of the Aristotelian tradition.

This tradition holds truth in high esteem. I suspect that many of the founders not only believed that there was a truth, but that through the process of reason they could find a way to create a better form of governance.

Interestingly, the founders appear to be troubled by the partisanship of Europe, and although their own experiment in governance quickly broke down into partisanship, I suspect that few believe that truth evolves through a partisan process.

Personally, I suspect that the founders would reject the view that Conservatism was the Party of Truth and Progressivism was the Party of Lies.

While I admire those who believe there is a truth, partisanship is the least likely source for discovering truth.

The Left/Right partisan divide took root in the generations after the founders. Both the Left and Right adopted forms of modern logic, modern dialectics.

If we are to ever restore the American Experiment in self-rule, we need to realize that our partisan ideologies are inherently flawed. A nation cannot find truth through partisanship, but by looking beyond partisanship.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Conservatism v. Classical Liberalism

In theory, the GOP includes an alliance between "classical liberals" and "conservatives." In practice, the GOP uses classical liberal rhetoric to gain power. When in power, conservatives drive the classical liberals out of the party.

To define terms. The US Founders had a liberal arts education steeped in classical logic and the Western Christian Tradition. The founders applied this education to the question of liberty. The US Founders created a federation of states with a constitutionally limited government.

Classical liberals tend to have a deep appreciation for free market economics as was described by classical liberals such as Adam Smith, Frederick Heyak and von Mises.

Conservatism is a partisan ideology that evolved from the Right wing of European Parliaments.

In the French Revolution the Radical Left sought radical social change while the Reactionary Right sought to preserve the class structure of the ancient regime.

Conservatism is a partisan ideology seeking to preserve the class structure of feudalism.

Like modern liberals, modern conservatives adopted the dialectical methods of Hegel. These methods are often called "modern logic."

Modern dialectics came about as a conservative reaction to the French and American Revolution.

To understand this, one needs to understand a strange detail of history.

The Hanoverian Kings of England (George I, II, III, etc.) were German. The Kings of England funded the Germany University System.
After The US Revolution, The Hanoverian Kings of England tasked the Germany University System to come up with ways to frame the monarchy as progressive.

The reason that modern logic from the German University System had such an immediate effect is because it was funded for and promoted by the monarchy of United Kingdom.

This ideology is typified by Hegel.

Hegel realized that the best way to win an argument is to define the conflict. The intellectual who defines the conflict has the ability define the position on both sides of the conflict and is often in a position to choose the winner of the conflict.

Hegel created a fantastical Philosophy of History in which nation states were actors on the world stage competing for hegemony. Hegel created a modern logic which rejected the basic laws of reason accepted by classical logic. Hegel promoted an idea called "sublation" in which words take on their opposite meaning.

Hegel presented numerous word games that framed freedom as slavery and slavery freedom.

Hegelians creates a bizarre modern liberalism in which people seek servitude to a totalitarian state believing that such subservience is a higher level of freedom.

That said, the best example of Hegelian thought in action today is a little thing called "Fox News." Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly presents news as conflict with the goal of choosing the winner.

Both Modern Liberalism and Modern Conservatism use the same basic methodology of discourse.

This modern left/right split is a false dichotomy. Both sides and the middle of a false dichotomy are false. The game itself was designed so that, regardless of which side wins, the dichotomy will restrict liberty and result in political and economic centralization.

Modern Dialectics was developed by the monarchy as a tool to divide, conquer and impose centralized political rule.

The Progressive Left seeks to frame the centralized state as the source of progress in society. The Reactionary Right seeks to restore the centralized class structure of feudalism. Both the Left and Right lead society on a path to freedom.

The two sides of the coin are made of the same metal.

The Radical Left reached its ultimate expression with Stalin. The Reactionary Right reached its ultimate expression with Hitler. The two extremes of this false dichotomy led the people to ruin.

Another prime example of Modern Dialectics in action can be seen in the writings of Karl Marx.

Marx was an avid follower of Hegel. His goal was to bring about revolution by creating conflict.

The primary work of Marx was a tome called "Das Kapital." Das Kapital describes in detail a dystopia in which business warlords use a corrupt financial system to gain economic and political hegemony. Marx then wrote a short manifesto calling people to rise up against the corrupt order he described in Das Kaptial.

Don't you see the irony?

Karl Marx is the father of Modern Capitalism.

Conservatives jumped on the band wagon and support every word in Marx's capitalism as if Marx's capitalism were the ideal society.

 Marx's goal in writing "Das Kapital" was to create a corrupt top-heavy socio-economic system that was destined to fall.

Conservatives read "Das Kapital," discovered how a captured and corrupt financial system can create a class society.

Conservative then support the corrupt financial system described by Marx because it creates the class society that conservatives so cherish.

Marx called his program Material Dialectics. Marx created this ugly situation in which conservatives argue for controlling society with a corrupt financial system while the radical left argues for rebellion against the corrupt financial system.

The classical liberal view, of course is that, in order to enjoy a free society; one has to stand against the corrupt financial systems.

The supposed alliance between classical liberals and conservatives has muted the classical liberal stance against corrupt finances as conservatives belief that corrupt finances can help keep the lower classes in check.

I stare in disbelief as conservatives wave about Karl Marx's Das Kapital as if Marx had unwittingly uncovered the path to nirvana in this poisonous tome.

I believe that, if we want to restore the American ideals of freedom, people need to stand against Marx's Capitalism and support free market economic reform.

Sadly, anyone who challenges the false assumptions written by Marx in Das Kapital is heaped upon with scorn by rabid Conservative pundits.

This brings me back to the supposed alliance between conservatives and classical liberals.

In theory, the GOP is an alliance between conservatives and classical liberals. I define Classical Liberal as the application of classical logic and Judeo-Christian ethics to the question of liberty. This tradition includes thinkers such as Addison, the US Founders, Adam Smith, Hayek and Von Mises.

Conservatism is a reactionary philosophy arising from the Left/Right split of the French Revolution. Modern conservatives often trace their beliefs to Plato, Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, Edmund Burke, Hegel, Leo Strauss, etc.. Conservatives have a strange fondness of Marx's Das Kapital. Conservative routinely argue that Marx's Capitalism should be the foundation of a new class society.

I admire the US Founders and the Classical Liberal Tradition and have concluded that the supposed alliance between classical liberalism and conservatism has been bad for this nation.

Classical Liberalism includes many of the most beautiful ideas in Western History. Conservatism is a bunch of ugly thoughts about class society.

The alliance allows conservatives to play on the positives of the classical liberal tradition while allowing the left to project all of the negatives of conservatism onto the classical liberal tradition.

The alliance between classical liberals and conservatives has not led our society in a positive direction. 

In the post Pendulum Swing, I noted that both the GOP and Democrats have internal pendulum swings.

The GOP will encourage classical liberal rhetoric when the GOP is in the minority. The GOP clamps down on classical conservatives when the GOP rises to power.

Democrats have the same pendulum swing. They encourage libertine society when they are falling out of favor and progressive centralization when they rise into power.

The two parties have created a dynamic in which we a systematic lessening of individual liberty (a classical liberal ideal) and an imposition of a top heavy state (a progressive state) and corrupt capital system (a conservative ideal).

This pendulum can be seen in the rise and fall of the Tea Party. The GOP encouraged the Tea Party with classical liberal rhetoric. As the GOP ascends back into power, the GOP actively seeks to drive out people expressing classical liberal ideals.

The GOP is currently in the process of driving classical liberal thinkers from its ranks. But, I beg any conservative who reads this rant to take a moment and think. If you removed all the classical liberal thought from the GOP, what do you have?

Classical liberalism is the application of classical logic to thoughts on liberty. The tradition includes the US Founders, Adam Smith, Hayke, Von Mises, etc..

Conservatives, for some odd reason, prefer the likes of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Burke, Hegel. Conservatives wave about Marx's Das Kapital is if the dystopia of Marx's Capitalism was the ideal class society.

Conservatives have declared an unqualified hatred of all things liberal and seek to drive out the liberal ideals of the US Founders. I beg conservatives to consider: When you drive out the classical liberal ideas of the US Founders, Adam Smith, Hayek, von Mises, etc., what do you have left?

You are left with the corruption of Machiavelli, the Leviathan of Hobbes, the duplicity of Burke, the irrationality of Hegel and the insanity of Marx's Capitalism. Modern Conservatism is as much a Road to Serfdom as is modern progressivism.

The Left/Right split is a false dichotomy. Both sides of a false dichotomy are false. When a coin is stamped from manure both sides of the coin stink.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Another Interesting Excommunication

Here is another interesting excommunication:

Helmuth Hübener (1925-1942) was from an LDS family living in Hamburg, Germany. Despite warnings from the LDS President Heber Grant to keep a low political profile during the war the young Hübener listened to BBC and distributed anti-fascist pamphlets.

Helmuth Hübener was arrested on February 5, 1942. Ten days later he was excommunicated from The LDS Church. Hübener was executed in August, 1942.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I Did Not Have a Classical Liberal Education

In past posts I've opined that the difference between classical and modern liberalism is the underlying logical structure.

I should mention. I did not have a classical liberal education. I had the same progressive education as everyone else.

I grew up adoring the 60s. I thought Rock and Roll was a substantive form of music. I parroted the petty prejudices of the professoriat as they lavished praise on Jimmy Carter and heaped scorn on Reagan. I remember the deep dismay when the snarl words failed to turn the tide against the Teflon President.

I was interested in the foundations of mathematics and hoped to become a teacher; so I studied the history of mathematics. I saw classical logic as some sort of primitive state of thought that existed before symbolic logic and set theory.

My primary interest was the foundations of calculus.Since the equations of calculus play a fundamental role in physics, economics and many sciences, I believe that it was imperative to develop a way to teach calculus in high school. So, I had this ambition of become a high school math teacher who would focus on analytic geometry and calculus.

I saw myself as a young progressive thinker. I went to school in the Bay Area in about the same time that David Horowitz made his departure from progressivism. I saw first hand the things Horowitz went through in Radical Son.

Horowitz took his progressive writing style and turned the guns on the progressive movement.

As I was still in school, I simply became more attentive to foundational issues and began investigating the differences between classical and modern liberalism.

Unfortunately, my blatant act of questioning the foundations of progressivism caused me to be flunked out of college.

It was not until several years after college that I began reading books on logic and realized that fundamental transition that took place in the 1800s between the development of classical logic.

I happen to live in Utah. Utah is a closed society. By closed, I mean it is a society that is dead bolted shut against open discourse and new ideas.

For example, for the last six years, I've had the hope of either attending or hosting a meeting about free market health care reform. In six years, I've been unable to find any conservative groups holding meetings about free market health care reform, and all of my attempts to host a meeting have failed.

I can understand people being unwilling to talk to me. But Health Care is the single most important issue of our generation and I find no-one in the state talking about alternatives to the health exchanges.

NOTE to Utah: PPACA is a network of health exchanges regulated by the Federal Government but run at the state level. Creating an exchange that is run at a state level and is regulated by the Federal Government is not an alternative to PPACA.

Being a pariah doesn't bother me, but a complete blackout of discourse is troubling.

I keep coming back to this one point:

If Conservatives continue their stonewall suppression of discourse, there is no option but to give into PPACA. Quite frankly, I fear that if Americans the few remaining free market aspects of our health care, that we will soon lose all freedoms. If we don't have freedom to direct the care of our bodies then what freedom is there?

Having received the same progressive education as the rest of America and having never been in a situation where open inquiry and discourse was allowed, I am just left banging my head against stone walls without the slightest idea of how to act.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Right to Self Definition

This may come as a shock and appears to be unfair but most of the senior positions in the GOP are held by Republicans and most senior positions of the Democratic Party are held by Democrats.

If the Democratic Party was as opened as they claim, wouldn't they give a third of their top seats to Republicans or vice-versa?

If I organized a mass movement that demanded the GOP include Democrats in top slots, most people would stare at me incredulously.
The parties are private groups. The prevailing opinion is that private groups should have the ability to define themselves.

While private groups should have the ability to define themselves, I think it is important for societies to have room for everyone.

Putting my money where my mouth is: I created the Community Color project in which I list all of the web sites I find from select communities in the Moutain West.  While the sites are far from comprehensive. I am making a concerted effort to list links to a wide selection of sites expressing different opinions.

Quite frankly, I really dislike systems in which people are locked out.

Our two party system has created a political dynamics in which most the leaders in the Democratic Party are Democrats and those in the GOP are Republican.

The dynamics of this system creates a dysfunctional system in which independent thinkers are shut out.

The only way for an independent thinker to get elected is to lie about party affiliation, which means the only way for independent thought to occur in our legislatures is for it to come through liars.

When one is locked out of society. The only way to engage in political discourse is to sit on the sideline and snipe at the power brokers.

The US Founders hated partisanship. They were independent thinkers who appear to have accepted the independent thought of others. The Founders failed to anticipate the rise of the parties. There is no mention of the parties in the Constitution.

Were the founders to rematerialize on this planet, they would likely find themselves locked out of the political process like the majority of Americans.

The only way for independents to engage in discourse is to sit on the sidelines of the parties and snipe at the players or to lie to get an inside seat.  Both options are unsatisfactory.

IMHO, communities must include roles for everyone. Problems arise when individual groups get so powerful that they are able to dominate society and drive others out.

When there are groups that gain hegemony, question arise about how to counter the groups. Should the groups be deny the ability to define themselves, or is the only recourse for the disenfranchised to form other power groups to stand against the hegemony?

My personal impulse is that that people wishing to live independent lives should live their lives in ways that discourage the development of such hegemnies.

But, then again, I am one of the millions of independent thinkers who are locked out of society and who can do nothing but sit on the sidelines and snipe.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The September Six

As expected, the founder of Ordain Women was excommunicated.

The LDS Church routinely engages in purgings of intellectuals. Usually it is done under the table. For example, about ten years ago, a powerful group was pushing the theory that the Book of Mormon took place in Central America. Apparently the scholars supporting the Meso-American view are out and a new group claiming the Book of Mormon took place in the US is in.

This was a major purge took place in silence.

About five years ago, there were several production companies producing independent LDS Moviies like Brigham City and God's Army. It appears that the filmmakers are on the out.

In 1993 there was a general purging of intellectuals. This purging created a group called "The September Six." This purge included the BYU historian named Dennis Michael Quinn who wrote books on some of the less savory aspects of Mormonism including the history of polygamy and the "Early Mormonism and The Magical World View."

The book suggests that Mormonism arose among people who believed in aspects of folk magic such as a belief in second sight.

Mormonism is not the first experience in America with the magical world view. In the 1690s folks in Salem held a magical world view. With support from the Mathers of Harvard, the good people of Salem engaged in witch trials based largely on spectral evidence. Twenty people were executed and scores imprisoned. The funny thing is that large numbers of people confessed to being witches based on spectral evidence.

Some people are challenged by the prospect that the testimonies for The Book of Mormon were based on claims to the magical powers of "second sight" and not real evidence. Excommunicating scholars who research such quaint notions is a must.

The overt act of excommunications in 1993 brought a backlash in bad publicity. Recent purgings have been much more tactful. For example, the people supporting the Meso American theory of the book of Mormon just disappeared along with the independent Mormon films.

The OrdainWomen was an overtly audacious movement to force change on the the LDS Church. The LDS Church has a right to define itself and acted exactly in the way that its fundamental doctrines tells it to act.

Much as I love open discourse. I believe strong that groups have a right to self-definitions. The big problems I see occur when a group has amassed so much power that they are able to suppress discourse throughout an entire community as appears to have happened here in Utah.

My pet issue, as you probably know, is free market health care reform. The LDS Church has billions invested in the Health Exchanges. Mormons supporting the Health Exchanges of PPACA include Harry Reid, Mitt Romney, Mike Leavitt, Jon Huntsman, Gary Herbert and more.

The LDS Church is heavily invested in the insurance industry and in the back bone processes of the exchanges.

I believe that Americans should question the Health Exchanges. For that matter, I think Americans should really question the wisdom of insurance.

I am not LDS. But since I live in Utah which is run by the LDS Church, I have to live with the reality that all attempts to debate free market health care reform will be suppressed.

So, while I support the right of the LDS Church to define itself, I have concerns about what point the right of self-definition turns to over arching societal. Anyway, it was interesting watching the overt and open excommunication of Ordain Women.