Notice how Locke’s empiricism dovetails with the political principles of natural rights and basic equality: because all people have eyes and ears and minds, and because we must check and consult with each other to find truth, the many, not just the few, are entitled to assert their own beliefs and contest others. Epistemic rights, like political rights, belong to all of us; empiricism is the duty of all of us. No exceptions for priests, princes, or partisans.
With America’s former “Fake News!” Fake President dooming Congressional members of the Republican Party into becoming IrrElephants, now seems just the time for reconsidering the character, history, and nature of what informed and modern humanity has come to call “Truth”.
The matter shouldn’t be that complex, but considering the long history of narcissistic conceits (why of course the sun revolves around the earth!) and wars involving irreconcilliable beliefs, cocksure wrong conclusions, and innumerable faiths, it should seem no wonder that for the pleasure of obtaining where all may a deeply responsible peace we have arrived in a lively conversation about empiricism and epistemology.
I have only started reading Rauch’s book but feel both the quote and note here worthy of play.
In the medieval mode, power lies and makes it truth; in the modern world, power had better tell the truth given the world’s yet free legions of high-integrity academics, consultants, judges, lawyers, researchers, and scholars. Lie to us, and we will find you out and bring about your humiliation in the minds of future generations. So here we know the lie told to the Palestinian refugees of 1948: “The Jews stole your land, and God wants you to win it back” — and it seems an old portion of Arab power has given the Palestinians that lie as something against which to bang their heads for decades.
From the Awesome Conversation
What mobs hear, believe, and repeat is different from what lawyers, judges, and scholars examine and come to know with overwhelming validity.
The civilized way of attenuating findings certain to make one side or another unhappy is to cooperate in a relocation chosen by those moving out and as good or better than present circumstance and altogether agreed permanent according to the will of those so relocated. No death, outrage, vandalism, or violence — just a disruptive but civil adjustment undertaken in a mutually respectful even if reluctant atmosphere.
You would rather create a sore, salt it, and drive a mob against both historical and inherited realities and superior — proven, experienced — defense and security forces.
Given the bent, about all Palestinian “advocates” can guaranty is greater and more widespread Palestinian anger and related harm.
So the Power That Lies–what is it to tell its people when the game’s up?
The answer is Copernican: “We were wrong. We could not see nought but ourselves and God, the universe, and the world before us fully admiring, approving, validating no matter what we did to ourselves, those taught to trust us most, and those we regarded as our enemies.”
I would not regard my fellow Jews as occupying the Center of the Universe either, but one may respect or at least value the co-evolutionary presence of the world’s diminishing pool of ethnolinguistic cultures, and then perhaps respect Arabs and Israelis and others most of all for overcoming themselves and broadening the reach of those principles most peaceful, pleasant, responsible, and, ultimately, universal.
Have I, you, and we not yet tired of having the same conversations over and over and over again on Facebook, especially those related to the Middle East Conflict?
The habitual finger pointing with invective — “Israel Apartheid!”; “Palestinian Terrorists!” — should be enough to motivate the big — and big-hearted — step backward for clarity. However, few wish to take that step, and for Palestinian voices, few may be allowed the latitude needed for other than the repetition of a long surreal political theater sustained by leadership greed and related structures plus sponsoring interests (in Moscow and Tehran and elsewhere) who have little authentic interest in Palestinian well-being.
From the Awesome Conversation
Israel is not apartheid and most Palestinians would fare well with a government — or governments — up to modern standards for decency and integrity in their handling of money and relationships and with a track toward modern democracy. The toe-the-line feudal practices before power — power that remains near absolute and politically repressive — benefits small circles.
Israeli medievalism, which has less impact on the working of the modern state, both preserves the Jewish character and identity of the state but may impede civil progress in other dimensions.
As a blogger, I have found “Medieval v Modern” thematic in relation to conflict worldwide, and the arrangements that drive that axis have most to do with money and its distribution, i.e., greed.
Business, or perhaps the result of having done some business, may look about the same worldwide — well, marvelously variegated but similarly posh — where sales, revenues, gentility, and cultural and industrial talent collide.
So how is that western conservatives complain so vociferously about Communism when, from the looks of things, the old Reds or their business and political associates, cronies, or neighbors have wrapped themselves in Gold?
The myth of the Communist has not held up but for the play of the wealthy in defending their gains from the confiscating and taxing powers of states that one way or the other needs must maintain their political and social equilibrium — and the way to that: wherever else in the worlds, the answer’s the same as in the United States of America: broad, complex, forward-thinking public-private compacts.
While Karl Marx may still be bandied and bashed about from Far Out Left and Far (White) Right circles, the world he may had in mind while writing has all but disappeared from contemporary view.
What remains: the feudal-medieval habits on the part of some insecure in their positions and helpless before greed.
What’s coming — or what should come?
Some New Humanism, I hope, with human continence, cooperation, development, generosity, and imagination, and for which Qualities of Living x Area-Squared start with better balance between economic allocations, resources, and populations. While the ruthless raise the roofs, literally and in ways becoming hopelessly outdated, one hopes the more humble and responsible among the powerful, or within the ranks of those with power, raise the floor for global health, well-being, and security.
I don’t want to spend too much time — or too much of your time — reinforcing what has become thematic on this blog: “Medieval v Modern”. However, there’s no evading forces backed by powerful wills intent on producing feudal power with extraordinary modern defense and intelligence technologies that lend themselves to the nightmares of totalitarian control.
Here’s the note.
From the Awesome Conversation
Both China and Russia practice and promote political absolutism in governance. More than convenience has been involved in their relationship — and in China’s stepping in to keep Tehran in the oil money it uses to fund its promotion of aggression by IRGC and proxies and further creation of chaos in the middle east. Regarding China’s threats to western power in this “hybrid warfare” age — so underhanded! — the smorgasbord is wide but not yet too strong.
In the process of blogging, I’ve found a convenient axis in “Medieval Absolutism v Modern Democratic Distribution of Power” (Medieval v Modern, essentially) and believe the New Nationalism and bents toward autocracy and authoritarianism (and corruption) run together. In that way, Xi, Putin, and Trump had been on similar pages in a rule book that doesn’t exist. The west for several hundred years has repeatedly turned away from Absolutism and the related admiration of singular and unquestionable authority. While I am much less familiar with China’s civilization than with Russia’s (and I may not get beyond tenderfoot with that), I would see the continued binding of Sino-Russo interests as inimical to the western path, its energies, and the greater spirituality that has made much of the bloc wondrously productive before the backsliding of some toward the feudal mode.
Feudal societies are never democratic, just, or humane. In Russia, the absolute power of the sovereign has covered the ownership — what else would you call it? — of persons and property as alike. When Russian air forces have bombed hospitals in Syria (and White Helmets who arrive to rescue the injured and retrieve the dead), it has been without regard to the humanity of the persons, helpless patients, caring visitors, the doctors, caught in that hell. The dismal character of that brand of leadership now paints its own horrifying portrait for viewing around the world daily.
China has sent is final message to the world with its own production of a panopticonic society that can view all of the people all the time through their phones (conversations, locations, purchases) without challenge or question. Great Britain with is public monitoring cameras and Snowden with his revelations regarding how far technology has come may suggest some worrisome potentials — and all gets hashed in freedom in the west through the open press — but China has gone the distance with its inherently paternal and degrading assessment of its human complement — and don’t let the Communist banner fool you: the state has become wealthy with global trade — and the western portion a large part of it — and it has been minting billionaires like no other state on earth while engaged in questionable international development and lending practices (see the above noted “contemporary political sins” post).
The “superpowers”, once defined by their nuclear capability, have on this one life-producing planet no choice but to compete or wrestle with one another over money, political philosophy, and both the character of power and the nature of our humanity. As an American, I promote an earnest freedom of conscience and moral agency and leave to pursue individual interests in what should be a competitive and meritocratic society even though it has its “feudalism” in the private sector in which family and social interests combine. Also as an American, one needs must endorse and support integrity and transparency in governance and protest, question, and resist efforts to install family interests and “great leaders” who may then (as Viktor Orban has done in Hungary, as Donald Trump appears to have attempted in the United States) choose to bend and twist their “democratic” states into private fiefs.
Among the slashed and burnt of The Great Liar’s One-Term Presidency, John Bolton stands out for greater backbone, discretion, experience, and integrity.
I believe Bolton when he suggests he leveraged his experience in national security to participate in the Trump Administration in order to produce his — not Trump’s — brand of guidance. As Trump required greater sycophancy, Bolton would also leave the malignant narcissist’s den.
The Republican Party, once the Party of the visionary Abraham Lincoln, has in the 20th Century seen equally embarrassing and shamefully self-centered days. That has become something for critically reasoning and independent Americans to take into consideration as the West with its ideas about compassion, freedom, goodness, and real human productivity faces an anachronistic, feudal, and implacable enemy in Moscow and, in post-Cold War association with it, Beijing and Tehran as well.
Tehran, worn by its own conflict-promoting behaviors over time and by sanctions, has shown no signs of retreat in relation to its nuclear missile and warhead programs nor its will, repeated with dulling frequency, to see Israel and the west destroyed for its own marauding and politically absolute ends. Where has the Republican Party (with its increasingly familiar white supremacist attachments) really stood on the Moscow-Tehran relationship? Where has it stood with regard to the rise of the proto-fascist New Nationalism in the United States as well as within NATO (have a look into authoritarian and feudal urges in Hungary, Italy, Poland, and Turkey)?
Here is a junction in time in which the United States, once leader of the free world — the modern open democratic world, either stands firm against politically retrograde but technologically sophisticated states or slips backward itself into some system of immense power and wealth lording over a hapless constituency whose political voice becomes so much noise to those working the levers for their own enrichment according to class and degrees of ruthlessness.
The world is neither hopeless nor helpless in light of its collective issues and future. It may be crime ridden, fractious, and violent, but the measurable qualities of evil may be diminished with time. We have not, thank God, had our World War III but while living perpetually in a state of competition or conflict with China and Russia — those may be considered the Orwellian two other powers — we have developed sustained lower-intensity conflicts and the transnational crime organizations that fuel their fires. Well, if we can develop greater conscience in some, temper greed, and deal with practical pressures, we might be able to draw those down.
If the Devil’s winning, Mark, it’s our own fault (for not understanding how the Damned Thing works).
For corrupt Palestinian leaders, the real primary incentive appears to be relationships with elites yielding money and personal security. Some at the top of that heap should try purchasing a less self-centered and parochial conscience.
From whence comes the broader consideration of others in the world by those who by way of their own wealthy and powerful circumstance have the wherewithal to lead it?
In casual talk, I’ve suggested evolution.
Nature grows our minds.
In more serious psychology, altruism, caring, conscience, love, and the related apprehension of duties, obligations, and responsibilities toward others seem altogether healthier characteristics than fearful and compensating tendencies toward the meanest and smallest minded expressions of the will to survive as a will determined to destroy or dominate others.
For those with seriously Up There — Plutocratic — Clout, which is the better direction and why grind against it?
Why not formulate ideas and programs better fit for both a challenging global and personal future by simply enjoying what has characterized the past in dogma and politics — there’s no need to dishonor the past for anyone — while moving on to “well, we are all here on just this one marble of an island in space and time — and our first priority should be keeping our own conditions — environmental and broadly social — better than survivable”?
There are those with the power to drive forward of their own circumstances and life experiences, the present is always the place in time (and there is no better) where some cultural rivers and their ideas (and associated behaviors) needs must dissolve in their own delta while others — more fit for future time and space — flow from new wellsprings.
Wherever we are in time — this moment! — we’re not going to be in the same place tomorrow. It may look that way on the outside — same writer here, same desktop: differently informed and perpetually gathering, recombining, reformulating ideas, information, plans.
We each of us know what belongs to each by way of our persons and our families, and if we’re a little larger than that, our companies and communities, but we falter some with “my air; my water; my mountains; my rivers; my shores”. Some objects are too large for singular possession. Even subdivided and sold off in lots — so one might own a patch or an estate (and hunting grounds) — such resources and spaces may have lives of their own and greater than appreciated. OUR rain forests, for example, may be critical to OUR planetary oxygen supply.
As our species matures — however else we may think of ourselves (as framed by our nearly 7000 living language cultures and directed, somewhat, by our 4300 active religions), we may consider the fragility of our species foremost — we may do well to look far forward of our positions rather than fix and freeze ourselves as we are. If we are to contemplate, for example, the end of the Eon of Oil and continued Global Warming or merely increasingly severe oscillations in temperature, this may be the best time to think about the energy resources and insulating technologies of the 22nd Century.
Why not — and why not this minute?
It’s never too late?
It’s never too soon.
What if the world hadn’t to deal with what have become essentially political criminals?
What are we — or what is the world — still doing here — in the same frozen situation — with Ukraine?
Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba said on January 11 that Russia “has done everything to fulfill nothing.” His latest attempts with his German counterpart “to hold another round of talks at the level of foreign minister were unsuccessful,” Mr. Kuleba said. He said the continuing deadlock is a situation in which, “on the one hand, there is progress on Donbas, and, on the other, there is no progress.”
While it may be understood that we are not all angels, one might wonder why any state population must be made to weather the bullying criminality of gangs, more or less, of so-called “state elites” and leaders — or invasion by alien forces ordered by the same with precisely that mentality?
I had thought both the feudal and medieval eras known to European and Russian history finished off by the allied powers of World War II.
While at this post-Trumpian moment (start HIS history as an American President with Manafort, his first choice for campaign manager), no American has the right to ask how others could have been blown so far off course from the modern and practical demands for accountability, integrity, and responsibility in governance, the complaint begs a question as applicable to every capital as well as Kiev and Moscow: who would be the good stewards of states and regions and on up the scale to global assets?
These “leaders” that draw out crowds to brave their batons and bullets and mass arrests — who would have time for them were they not so brazen and stuffed full of themselves?
An advertisement for Good Stewards of any geopolitical space: ability to both imagine and think beyond one’s own existence and interests; ethical; good-willed; holistic; honest; magnanimous; possessed of high integrity; responsible; sense of humor a must.
What if through democracy coupled with ambitious public education, the world really could think about and tend to its own collective future well being as expressed through Qualities of Living x Area-Squared (or Cubed) for any geopolitical space?
I know at this point — I am 65 — my references are a bit dated but I feel their spirit still to be realized. If those who wish for themselves and future generations better lives, the answers, means, and methods are certain to be found in the comprehending of global issues and the development of related cooperation across space and time.
The slogans, e.g., “Think Globally — Act Locally”, have been around for a long time. The businessmen and politicians up to the challenge of producing a better world NOW and for setting up into the next century? Apparently, far less than would seem immediately desirable.
Books and circulars, first, radio, television, and films, later, have long presented us to ourselves, and so much so that it has long been common to reference our behavior in terms of characters well known. There has been the Great White Hunter’s perspective too in which the white guy — the Ernest Hemingway of one American generation; the Peter Beard of another — would view the journey into the “back of beyond” as exotic, and one day not too long ago, it was exotic.
The Grand Tour may be that no longer.
We are all here making our appearance known on desktop around the world. “Global Culture” — what we look like in recordings worldwide — has had these other and epic tours since the 1990s, and now we in North America have had in place for at least 14 years an astonishing “World Wide Web” through which all may see the world — including themselves — in states closer and closer to real time — or with live feeds within seconds of “real time”.
How are we now supposed to separate?
It’s too late — and we’re not going to go backward into more parochial decades or centuries.
In fact, we’re going to go through the life process and illness and death in the company of our virtually relayed but quite real familiars — our Facebook buddies, Twitter rosters, Instagram producers, and such — thousands of miles from our own desktops. When these new old friends fall ill . . . we’ll know it depending on our emotional and relational distance, not our geography. We’ll be asking what can be done (hit the FB “Cares” icon!) and what can we do — and about so many things: what can be done and what can we do sitting where each of us sits?
In terms of the larger picture, the significance of the Euromaidan, or generally the Maidan, of 2013-14 can hardly be overstated: it not only caps the period of hybrid post-Soviet existence initiated by independence in 1991, but also provides a kind of closure to the complex and drawn-out process of Ukrainian nation-formation that began in the 19th century.