Skip to comments.All the Morals of a Bulldozer
Posted on 04/22/2012 4:16:21 AM PDT by expat1000
To be genuinely outraged about something, you need to actually believe in something. Without principles, outrage is just tactical anger, or bullying in plainer language. Principles, values and codes are universal. That is if you are angry about a dog being mistreated by riding on top of a car, then you should at least be equally angry at dogs being eaten.
If a man shooting another man after a confrontation and not being charged for it angers you, then it should anger you regardless of the color of his skin. For that matter if racism or sexism offends you, then it should offend you regardless of whether it is directed at a woman or a black man who is a liberal or a conservative.
It's child play to notice that the game doesn't work this way anymore. That the media engages in displays of tactical anger, serious-face inquiries into issues that they are concerned about only when they benefit their side, manufactured outrage that is not based on any deeply held beliefs, but only on the need to score some points.
If Republicans seem slower on the uptake, it's because their ranks tend to be stocked with old fashioned types who even in their more liberal incarnations still try to maintain consistent values. The mindset that that they confront is alien to all but a few of their opposition political operatives. It is a mindset devoid of any values, operating on a Pavlovian reflex that reacts to talking points without framing them in any larger context.
Media moral bullying follows this course, raising issues that they pretend are vital principles, but stop being so the moment they no longer benefit them. The iron clad value of a moment ago is discarded into the trash a second later. The serious faces relax, the twitter accounts go dead and all the attention is refocused on some truly important issue, like the next iPhone.
It's not entirely cynical, though it mostly is. The people behaving this way have lost the ability to recognize enduring abstract principles that have an existence beyond their emotions of the moment. They don't live by rules, rather rules live by them, if they are angry, then their anger is a moral issue, if they are not angry, it isn't. Emotions are the only moral barometer that people who cannot see beyond the self have.
That makes them natural bullies, their shows of outrage lifting their anger up to self-righteousness. Their tactical anger is part pretense, part real, and even they don't really know the difference anymore. They have been taught that their momentary moral tantrums make them good people, they have not however been taught to be good people. They believe that they are right because they are angry and that they are angry because they are right. It's an attitude you can see in traffic arguments, in divorce court and on the evening news.
Like well trained Oceanians, it depends on audiences in colorful Keffiyah scarves and ironic t-shirts who rise eagerly for the daily Two-Minute Hates, shouting against racism, patriarchy, carbon, oil, corporate personhood and logos, gun rights, animal testing, heteronormative bathrooms and any of the endless list of things to be outraged by, without the ability to apply their denunciations to a moral code.
Oceanian propaganda was deliberately inconsistent so that none of its citizens developed a consistent code that might allow them to judge the system even by its own rules. Left-wing talking points tend to be like that, consistently inconsistent, willfully senseless, cultivating an instinct for mob rage, for hours of political analysis, but no steady rules of conduct that would apply to the analyzers.
The only consistent principle that we are good and they are bad. If you understand that Republicans are racists, that a cabal of corporations, zionists and christian fanatics are plotting to take over the country, and that they hate anyone who is different from them, then you have all the context that you need to understand the liberal message. Without that it's gibberish. With it, it's simplistic but comprehensible propaganda.
Boiled down to its essence, the liberal message is that we are good people, because they are bad people. The new Democrats sticker which reads, "Not a Republican" aptly sums up this void. It follows that good people cannot be bad and that bad people cannot be good, and once you accept this message, no further ethics or morals are needed. The very goodness of your side is all the moral code you need.
Identity politics substitutes for a moral code, not so much racial politics as racial tolerance politics which holds that liberals are more ethical, because they are more tolerant, better people because they care. The only crime they are ever guilty of is caring too much. Even the Communists and the terrorists were just too outraged by all the capitalism, racism and zionism, and had no choice but to start shooting and starving people.
It's possible to spend years immersed in this swill without realizing that none of it is moral or ethical, that it's "They are bad, we are good" blaring from every radio and television set. Morality and ethics is about principles that apply across the board. When your only principle is that your group is good and your enemies are bad, then not only are you devoid of morals and ethics, but you are incapable of recognizing immoral and unethical behavior except with a gut instinct that your ideology has trained you to discard.
Cognitive dissonance sets in over everything from Communist gulags to Occupy Wall Street rapes, if things aren't supposed to happen, then they never did. When the ideological good confronts the real world bad, either ideology dies or morality dies. Historically it's more often been the latter than the former. Just ask one of the good Nazis or good Communists who had decent home lives, loved their children and pets, and kept on believing in everything except right and wrong.
When you take a bulldozer to traditional values, what takes its place is bulldozer ideology, the expedient virtue of bulldozing things and the virtue of whatever rises in their place. Once you believe in the bulldozer, then you must also believe in whatever mess follows in its wake, otherwise you are forced to take a long hard look at the virtue of the bulldozer. And once that happens, you are one step away from becoming a reactionary clinging to traditional values.
What has grown in the wake of the bulldozer is bulldozer ethics, situational ethics that justify the virtue of bulldozing things as a vital moral principle, disguising their appeal in calls to fairness, justice, decency, tolerance and a thousand other virtues that they never practice across the board.
Bulldozer values call forth explosive faux moral tantrums at anything that stands in front of the bulldozer. These tantrums can be seen on the late night news, on the front page of the New York Times, which long ago stopped relegating its moral tantrums and special pleading to the editorial page, on liberal blogs and a thousand other places. They don't however represent moral or ethics, only the virtue of the bulldozer-- the virtue of power.
The country must know about Romney's dog riding on top of the car. Why? Because it shows that Romney is a bad person. They must not know about Obama eating dogs, because it might make him 'wrongly' seem like a bad person. The only consistent value here is that of the bulldozer. Obama is driving the bulldozer, and so he must be protected, just the same way that the media protected Clinton in his own private war on women and their right to say no to being groped or propositioned, because back then he was driving the bulldozer. When Clinton briefly got in the way of Obama's bulldozer, then the media bulldozed him.
There is genuine anger over Romney's dog on their side, not because they care about dogs, though they often do, in the same detached way that they care about the Third World, but because they already believe that he is a bad person. Any anecdote that makes him a bad person feeds their anger. It isn't an outrage based on principles, but on their burning hate for anyone who stands in front of the bulldozer. They already know that all such people are bad, any story that reinforces this feeds into an existing anger, much the same way that people who hate Jews, Christians, the Chinese, women or dog owners feed off selective incidents that fit their narrative. And they mistake their shoddy bigotry for moral outrage.
When your only moral value is that of the bulldozer and its destructive rampage, then you have all the moral values of your chosen instrument. The moral tantrums are destructive, rather than constructive, they never seem to fulfill their stated mission of healing America and making it a better place (unless you consider provoking multiple racist attacks over the Zimmerman case to be that) but like driving a bulldozer into someone's house, they make them feel good.
And that is what it's really all about. The ego. The moral power of the self. The destruction of the old by people who are convinced that they are the new order. That they are the young, even when they are old. That the destruction they leave in their wake is really construction. And that anyone who thwarts their destructive impulses is the enemy and that destroying him is an absolute good.
"But the details of the event are more than unseemly
- they may, in fact, be illegal.
Massachusetts's animal cruelty laws
specifically prohibit anyone from carrying an animal
"in or upon a vehicle, or otherwise,
in an unnecessarily cruel or inhuman manner
or in a way and manner which might endanger
the animal carried thereon.
"An officer for the Massachusetts Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals responded
to a description of the situation saying
"it's definitely something I'd want to check out."
The officer, Nadia Branca, declined to give
a definitive opinion on whether Romney broke the law
but did note that it's against state law to have a dog
in an open bed of a pick-up truck, and
"if the dog was being carried in a way that endangers it,
that would be illegal."
Excellent piece, as always. "Situational ethics" is a paradox and not actually ethics at all.
Bingo x 3!!!
A friend of mine, who I used to work for, just rises to the top in any organization that he's in. Very successful and a good guy. He hates Christians. Why? I don't know and I've asked him. I believe something happened, when he was a kid that set him on that course. Politically, he's Left, Left, Left, but he doesn't live according to the Left's rules.
This is an excellent article.
Daniel should try being a group therapist for our poor democrats.
Their anger is all they got and they aren't about to give it up!
I suggest primal scream therapy, but not to loud. They might scare themselves.
Media and liberal politicians focus the people's attention on "issues," thereby ignoring enduring principles essential to individual liberty. As a matter of fact, so-called "progressives" have systematically removed the Founders' ideas of liberty from textbooks and public discourse and have substituted the kind of discussion described by Greenfield for meaningful debate.
In the Pope's speech in Germany a few years ago, he observed:
"A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures."
Poet Robert Frost once aptly described Greenfield's final paragraph "new order" folks almost perfectly, as quoted by Russell Kirk below.
As a matter of fact, 2012 would be a great time for conservatives to read Dr. Russell Kirk's "The Conservative Mind, which can be read online, by the way.
In Kirk's last chapter he reviews the works of poets and writers, quoting lines which now seem to bear a strikinig resemblance to the players on the stage in American politics today.
For instance, in Robert Frost's "A Case for Jefferson," Frost writes of the character Harrison:
"Harrison loves my country too
But wants it all made over new.
. . . .
He dotes on Saturday pork and beans.
But his mind is hardly out of his teens.
With him the love of country means
Blowing it all to smithereens
And having it made over new."
The pseudointellectuals who occupy the White House, the media, and much of Congress fancy themselves "intellectuals."
By their words and actions, however, they display a provinciality reminiscent of that Dr. Kirk recalls from an essay by T.S. Eliot on Virgil:
"In our time, when men seem more than ever to confuse wisdom with knowledge and knowledge with information and to try to solve the problems of life in terms of engineering, there is coming into existence a new kind of provincialism which perhaps deserves a new name. It is a provincialism not of space but of time--one for which history is merely a chronicle of human devices which have served their turn and have been scrapped, one for which the world is the property solely of the living, a property in which the dead hold no share."(Bold added for emphasis)
In today's case, the "provinciality" seems to be limited to the "progressives'" dabbling in and discussing the ideas of Mao, Marx, and other theoreticians and believing they can impose those ideas on a free people.
America's written Constitution deserves protectors whose minds are out of "their teens" in terms of their understanding of civilization's long struggle for liberty.
It certainly deserves protectors who do not consider it a "flawed" document because it does not permit the government it structures to run rough shod over the rights of its "KEEPERS, the People" (Justice Story).
Blasting it "all to smithereens" seems to be the goal of the current Administration and so-called "progressives" who control the Executive and one-half of the Legislative branch of government.
The Founders' Constitution's strict limits on coercive power by elected representatives are being ignored and disavowed; the free enterprise system which allowed individual citizens to achieve and excel in their chosen pursuits is being co-opted by elected and unelected bureaucrats; and the rights of conscience, speech, and religion are being trampled as we post here.
"The People" should be debating great ideas such as how to preserve liberty, or, in economic matters, the wisdom of the great moral philosopher, Adam Smith's "Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations." Instead, they are being hoodwinked by a president who believes they are ignorant or foolish enough to believe that deficit spending, debt, and government control will lead to prosperity.
When, in 1776, our ancestors felt the heavy hand of the British government "taking" their earnings, regulating their lives, interfering with their beliefs, and asserting coercive control over their actions, they did not waste their time on such trivia.
They wrote great treatises such as "Thoughts on Government" and "Common Sense." They educated their young on the merits of liberty, as opposed to slavery to government, and they did the groundwork which allowed for a written Constitution for self-government to be ratified in the states only eleven years later.
America is about to be bankrupt, both financially and philosophically, and those who have benefited from the Founders' ideas, who call themselves "conservators" (conservatives) of those ideas, should come together to place those ideas before millions of young people who must participate in voting in November on whether they desire liberty or slavery. Women, youth, men, so-called "seniors"--all need to have the choice presented clearly that this election pits the ideas of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and America's other Founders against the ideas of Marx, Lenin, and Keynes.
There are always "useful idiots." That's what every oppressive regime has relied upon. A "useful idiot" with a big megaphone is more dangerous to liberty than millions of ordinary ones, because of the ability to lull more people into a sense of complacency.
America, awaken! This decades-long battle for your liberty has been engaged. But, for decades, you have allowed the ideas of your liberty to be censored from your nation's textbooks and public discourse.
Our best weapon is contained in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution which leaves all the power in "the People's" hands. Read them, amplify upon their principles and ideas by accessing the Founders' writings and speeches.
For a quick review of those principles and the nation's first 50 years under its Constitution, consult John Quincy Adams' "Jubilee" Address here, or a recent reprint of a 1987 Bicentennial collection of the Founders' principles, here.
James Madison stated: "Although all men are born free, slavery has been the general lot of the human race. Ignorantthey have been cheated; asleepthey have been surprised; dividedthe yoke has been forced upon them. But what is the lesson? ... the people ought to be enlightened, to be awakened, to be united, that after establishing a government, they should watch over it ... It is universally admitted that a well-instructed people alone can be permanently free."
"The people in America have now the best opportunity, and the greatest trust, in their hands, that Providence ever committed to so small a number, since the transgression of the first pair: if they betray their trust, their guilt will merit even greater punishment than other nations have suffered, and the indignation of heaven." - John Adams, January, 1787
"Jenny! If we can but weld our souls together, then with contempt shall I fling my glove in the world's face, then shall I stride through the wreckage a creator!">
Some things never change. And "progressives" think they have new ideas.
Bookmark and pingout.
Bookmark and pingout.
Hayek laid this out very clearly in Road to Serfdom. Those in power have to disappoint some part of the electorate. They have to become more and more brutal in their suppression and elimination of those that stand in their way. The most brutal succeed.
The liberal agenda is the most important thing in the lives of the left. Nothing is off limits as long as it has some use to the liberal agenda. A dead kid is nothing but a prop to be used to support their politics. They are disgusting.
don’t ping the ayn rand worshippers. they’d say that she’d say that a bulldozer is the epitome of morals.
JMHO, but I think the ONE thing pointed out in your piece that gets overlooked way too often is that at the heart of the matter, we are dealing with spoiled adolescents. Teenagers in suits. We all lived through a time when WE had all the answers; when parents and others in positions of authority "just didn't GET it". And many of us here have also dealt with offspring who at some point had a similar mindset. One of the complaints heard most often from those yet unable, and later unwilling to look over the horizon? "It's just not fair!" Sound familiar?
The problem is this: The purveyors of cultural values; we all know who they are, have enthusiastically glommed on to this meme. The irrational behavior and incoherent brain effluent of these teenagers in suits has been legitimized and even glorified; supplanting the values necessary for the survival of our culture.
the ONE thing pointed out in your piece that gets overlooked way too often is that at the heart of the matter, we are dealing with spoiled adolescents. Teenagers in suits. We all lived through a time when WE had all the answers; when parents and others in positions of authority "just didn't GET it". And many of us here have also dealt with offspring who at some point had a similar mindset. One of the complaints heard most often from those yet unable, and later unwilling to look over the horizon? "It's just not fair!"The people behaving this way have lost the ability to recognize enduring abstract principles that have an existence beyond their emotions of the moment. They don't live by rules, rather rules live by them, if they are angry, then their anger is a moral issue, if they are not angry, it isn't. Emotions are the only moral barometer that people who cannot see beyond the self have.
That makes them natural bullies, their shows of outrage lifting their anger up to self-righteousness. Their tactical anger is part pretense, part real, and even they don't really know the difference anymore. They have been taught that their momentary moral tantrums make them good people, they have not however been taught to be good people. They believe that they are right because they are angry and that they are angry because they are right. I
The article mentions media more than once, but you know my take on that - it isnt the medium, its the hit-and-run format known as journalism - and, beyond that, it is wire service journalism. Is it actually anything to marvel at that people who get into journalism to make a difference and to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable are power hungry? Or that people who lust for power are bullies?Right now George Zimmerman probably considers that its all he can think of, just to keep out of jail and keep himself and his family alive. But the bullying tactics of journalism in general and NBC News in particular cry out for a counterattack in court. They should be sued, for all they are worth. Because frankly, they are in business to bully people, that is the whole reason they exist.
And the way you sue journalism in general is to sue the Associated Press and its membership as individuals. Actually, organized bullying among adults is illegal, its called racketeering. There is a specific way to sue racketeers; it is called RICO. And it provides for triple damages.
Excellent post #13.
Would that it would happen. Not just happen, but in a perfect court and judicial system there could potentially be significant progress dismantling the "family". The media has played a huge role in the unraveling of our culture; maybe the largest role. Right off hand I can't think of another single entity that could have contributed as much to social "change". I submit the riffraff we send to DC could not have pulled if off on their own, but as a team they were, and still are a formidable force. Throw the entertainment industry and Madison Avenue into the mix and they control the playing field. Tough row to hoe, particularly when we consider the legal and court systems are dysfunctional and as such, tilted in their favor also.
It's a mess cIc and I don't have a clue how to fix it. God help us.
I once had some nut tell me that dog sledding was cruel. I tried to explain that the animal loves it, but they couldn’t be brought to reason. Working dogs love to work like a lap dogs love a lap. Pointing at her as I said, “lap dogs” probably cost me the argument. ;-]
We also once drove for 8 hours with a live goat tied to the roof of our car. It had been inside in the back of the station wagon with us kids, but we complained about it butting us (my cousin got a busted lip and my sister almost lost an eye), peeing on us and our blankets (there’s something especially stinky and offensive about goat pee), and even nibbling on our clothes and hair. It tried to eat my peanut butter and honey sandwich. Finally, the kids got their way and with the goat secured safely to the roof we had a peaceful rest of the drive. That goat was, years later, killed by wild dogs.
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