Camille Paglia Answers Reader Letters: Democratic Ideology


Interesting quote:

“Something has gone seriously wrong with Democratic ideology, which seems to have become a candied set of holier-than-thou bromides attached like tutti-frutti to a quivering green Jell-O mold of adolescent sentimentality.”

Quite an image.  I like the term adolescent sentimentality, which is how I would describe the ethos of NPR’s This American Life (not exactly the height of Democratic thought, though somewhat representative).  

The word on the street is that Democrats are ideologically lacking, and contracting culturally and politically as they follow their ideas to their logical conclusions.  I’m not entirely convinced…though I’m tired of the lack of solid reasoning behind the global warming and feminist movements which gain public support by default. 

Even if you could prove this is true (and there are some cases to make), the Republican party seems to be following suit.  And as in any party’s base, there is enough frightening ignorance and ideology to go around.  This may help explain the growth of the libertarian party (with a richer blend of ideological nuttiness).

So…what to do…if this analysis is even somewhat accurate…

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Dexter Filkins In The NY Times: The Long Road To Chaos In Pakistan

Full article here.

The FATA area of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan is mostly lawless and ungoverned. What’s more, Filkins argues, is that the Taliban operating there has continually been propped up by the Pakistani government:

“The origins of the present predicament date to 1994, when Pakistan, unnerved by the bloody civil war that had engulfed Afghanistan following the Soviet Union’s departure five years earlier, turned to a group of fierce but moralistic Afghan tribesman who had won a string of victories.”

Why? In part because of the politics of not just Pakistan, but the region:

“The single most persuasive explanation for Pakistan’s continued involvement with the Taliban is the country’s obsession with India. Pakistan and India have fought three major wars since they broke with the British Empire in 1947, and the rivalry lives on. India has allied itself closely with the Afghan government of Hamid Karzai.”

We’re mulling over a nuclear arms deal with India.  Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association discusses some potential consequences of this deal here.

We’ve also been sending billions in aid to a now deposed military leader, who while perhaps having had reasonable control of his country (and perhaps some interest in serving his people)…also played us quite well.

“It may be that the Pakistan Army is too inept to destroy the Taliban, but there is abundant evidence suggesting that at least some elements of the army do not want to do that. “

And no doubt, many of the Pakistani people don’t want to do that either, as Musharraf made a risky move. Leaders can’t be (or be seen to be) too far from the interests of their own people for too long.

It reminds me that the conventional wisdom on Bush foreign policy is still reasonably accurate: He really thought that inside other peoples is a little American waiting to get out.

I may agree with Bush that freedom is a universal ideal, but his pursuit of that ideal has been narrow, idealistic, and simplistic.

by Ilyasansri

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Stephen Hawking In Cosmos: Some Reasons Why We Should Continue Space Exploration

Full article here.

Back to the moon…a moon base…a Mars base…beyond?

“The human race has existed as a separate species for about two million years. Civilisation began about 10,000 years ago, and the rate of development has been steadily increasing. But, if the human race is to continue for another million years, we will have to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

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