As this blog sees things, most of us value health, family, love, friendship, freedom, truth, knowledge, vocation, respect, influence and money in some kind of order. We are what we are, and generally, I think it’s a mixed bag.
Recall the last time you got something really wrong; how hard it can be to simply admit this fact to yourself. Even now.
Many activists seem to believe they’re seeing the world as it is: The truth of injustice set clearly enough for action, the passions and moral sentiments directly engaged, the resentments all pointing in the right direction (against the source of injustice). In the great Manichean struggle for power, and power behind power, (E)quality is the greatest moral good, potentially justifying one’s own personal failings and the excesses of the mob, if need be. Solidarity is a close, practical second.
‘If only other people were as rational as I am.’
I’m guessing we’ve all had this thought, at least once or twice.
It takes a special kind of person, however, to believe such a thought will scale to a new political order, full of people as rational as one’s self, riding atop the bow wave of (H)istory, re-shaping all of human nature.
If people within institutions of higher learning, bureauracies, and major publications like The Atlantic, The NY Times and The New Yorker buy into such ideas (negotiating with radicals), I figure the logic still unfolds as it must. Radical ideologues don’t tend to respect the speech nor autonomy of their enemies (be they evil oppressors or simple brainwashed bourgeosie). Such people won’t tend respect your speech nor autonomy either.
On that note::
From a Thomas Sowell piece, the Legacy Of Eric Hoffer:
‘Hoffer said: “The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause.”
People who are fulfilled in their own lives and careers are not the ones attracted to mass movements: “A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding,” Hoffer said. “When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.”
What Hoffer was describing was the political busybody, the zealot for a cause — the “true believer,” who filled the ranks of ideological movements that created the totalitarian tyrannies of the 20th century.’
Worth a read:
‘That night will never leave my memory. It was the angriest I have ever been in my life.’
A short story by Flannery O’Connor, as sent in by a reader:
‘He had not walked five hundred yards down the road when he saw, within reach of him, the plaster figure of a Negro sitting bent over on a low yellow brick fence that curved around a wide lawn. The Negro was about Nelson’s size and he was pitched forward at an unsteady angle because the putty that held him to the wall had cracked. One of his eyes was entirely white and he held a piece of brown watermelon.’
Redemption, mercy, original sin, and a decent short-story leaving you not knowing what to think, exactly.
Also As Sent In: Martin Luther King’s intellectual development came mainly through theology and seminary, social gospel (addressing social injustices), but also depended on various other sources, including Gandhi’s non-violent resistance (not acquiescence) to displace the force of the laws used against blacks for centuries. He welcomed a broad definition of rights enacted into law to include black folks, and a vast involvement of Federal authority…
And…where some of that energy has gone…further Left into Democratic Socialism
‘Being a leftist is a calling, not a career; it’s a vocation not a profession. It means you are concerned about structural violence, you are concerned about exploitation at the work place, you are concerned about institutionalized contempt against gay brothers and lesbian sisters, hatred against peoples of color, and the subordination of women.’
Related On This Site: Sunday Quotation: Edmund Burke On The French Revolution
Milton Friedman Via Youtube: ‘Responsibility To The Poor’……Robert George And Cornel West At Bloggingheads: “The Scandal Of The Cross”…Race And Free Speech-From Volokh: ‘Philadelphia Mayor Suggests Magazine Article on Race Relations Isn’t Protected by the First Amendment’