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Killers Without Conscience - 2010
2010 | Ward Dorrity

Posted on 05/07/2010 2:13:19 PM PDT by Noumenon

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To: Noumenon

There are some who are born evil. I’ve met them and seen
an emptiness in their souls that puts a fear into me for I
realized that the only way to combat them is to eliminate them
which would make me as evil as they are.

I wonder If I’m right.


201 posted on 07/20/2011 7:45:44 AM PDT by OregonRancher (Some days, it's not even worth chewing through the restraints)
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To: OregonRancher
The notion that some are born evil is actually an attractive one, as it explains what would otherwwise call for less reassuring diagnosis. But I have my doubts. Daniel Goldhagen, writing in his Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity has what I believe is a more convincing argument and one that actually is more in line with what we know about human agancy and free will. Goldhagen rightly states that those who originate and participate in mass slaughter and atrocity do so willingly and with energy and enthusiasm. Goldhagen takes "the devil made me do it" and the appeal to the dark side of human nature excuses off the table and puts resonsibility squarely where it belongs - with the individual.

I believe that Goldhagen is correct in this regard. Human beings are not automatons, as much as the Left would like to have us believe. Think about it - if we accept that an individaual has no choice in his actions, then we've just written a blank check to the monsters who would rule like cattle.

202 posted on 07/20/2011 9:53:35 AM PDT by Noumenon (The only 'NO' a liberal understands is the one that arrives at muzzle velocity.)
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To: Noumenon

....so willingly and with energy and enthusiasm.

Agreed. However, just because they do so willingly does not
mean they weren’t born evil. Evil takes many forms, and
one born that way might take different paths to satisfy cravings that we would consider outside moral and ethical
boundaries.


203 posted on 07/20/2011 12:14:26 PM PDT by OregonRancher (Some days, it's not even worth chewing through the restraints)
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To: Noumenon
In the Bloggers & Personal forum, on a thread titled: "FBI begins recording call-ins (talk radio)":

To: Gaffer

"We are witnessing the return of the Gestapo - because that madman Weather Underground sympathizer Eric Holder hates white people. While the FBI is under control of Holder, its sister agency the DHS is under control of a lesbian that hates America as much as Eric Holder and Hussein Obama. We are in for some very nasty sh!t if this halfrican is reelected. "

Sort of makes 1998 (or so) look like a "golden era" for freedom & liberty...

Of course, at that time many here thought it couldn't get much worse than klintoon, hitlary, alnotbright, Janet, and albore.

Unfortunately that was the last period of time in which heroic action might have saved the few existing remnants of the former Republic and one-or-two of the freedoms that we still had.

I would strongly recommend reading (or re-reading) this excellent post by Noumenon as he continued to build on central premises that he has posted since those early FR years: "Killers Without Conscience"

Needless to say...."Something wicked" no longer "comes"..It has arrived to stay!

Posted on 10/15/2011 10:11:52 PM PDT by SuperLuminal (Where is another agitator for republicanism like Sam Adams when we need him?)

204 posted on 10/15/2011 10:25:39 PM PDT by SuperLuminal (Where is another agitator for republicanism like Sam Adams when we need him?)
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To: SuperLuminal

Thanks for the bump. The book’s moving along in fits and starts as my day job work load and ranch work allows. I’ve had to answer a couple of key questions:

Why, for example is today any different from, say the days of the Roman Empire or medieval with respect to the exercise of power by individuals?

And above all, what is the nature of the antidote, the anti- will to power society and Man’s role in it? How do we go forward?

I’ve found some intriguing answers...


205 posted on 10/16/2011 9:43:06 AM PDT by Noumenon (The only 'NO' a liberal understands is the one that arrives at muzzle velocity.)
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To: Noumenon; Gaffer
"Why, for example is today any different from, say the days of the Roman Empire or medieval with respect to the exercise of power by individuals?"

At least one example is the orders-of-magnitude advantage that today's tyrant has in the amount of dynamic information he has about each and every serf with which to enable, strengthen, and perpetuate his control.

In their wildest dreams, Dzerhzinksy, Stalin, Wolf, Hitler, Goebbels, Malenkov, and Khrushchev couldn't have imagined the top-to-bottom control of every aspect of the serf population's life that is now a simple reality.

The history of the entire 20th century would have significantly different.

Reagan's 1964 warning of "...the last step into a thousand years of darkness." has certainly come to pass.

206 posted on 10/16/2011 2:10:40 PM PDT by SuperLuminal (Where is another agitator for republicanism like Sam Adams when we need him?)
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To: Noumenon

...Marked...


207 posted on 10/16/2011 2:47:24 PM PDT by gargoyle (...it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them...)
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To: SuperLuminal

Yes, it’s true that modern technology is a force multiplier, so much so that it “generates its own weather”, so to speak. The monarchs, despots and tribal leaders of pre-World War 1 times were largely content to enlarge and otherwise rule over their own empires. Modernity has seen the rise of malignant megalomaniacs driven solely by the will to power; they use that power in pursuit of their savage, murderous Utopias. What they demand is not mere loyalty or economic surrender, but the very extinction of that which makes you human. This requires the elimination of even the smallest hint of dissent and thus - the slaughter of millions. It is the ultimate exercise of power, and it is absolutely irresistible for some. We see their handiwork everywhere today. The abyss beckons, and they are only too willing to plunge headlong into it.


208 posted on 10/16/2011 7:05:35 PM PDT by Noumenon (The only 'NO' a liberal understands is the one that arrives at muzzle velocity.)
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To: Noumenon

Nice piece. I’m glad I finally discovered it.


209 posted on 01/31/2012 3:07:34 PM PST by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: Noumenon

That was a great read, Thank you. I could not find anything there to disagree with!


210 posted on 01/31/2012 3:42:42 PM PST by antisocial (Texas SCV - Deo Vindice)
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To: antisocial

When I finish the book based on this essay, it’ll connect a lot of dots.


211 posted on 01/31/2012 4:17:21 PM PST by Noumenon ("I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands." Col. Nicholson-The Bridge on the River Qwai)
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To: Hemingway's Ghost

The commentary’s pretty good, too - reminiscent of what we used have here on a regular basis. Now - not so much.


212 posted on 01/31/2012 4:18:44 PM PST by Noumenon ("I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands." Col. Nicholson-The Bridge on the River Qwai)
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To: Noumenon

Please let me know when you get the book ready. Thanks.


213 posted on 01/31/2012 4:36:41 PM PST by antisocial (Texas SCV - Deo Vindice)
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To: antisocial
Will do. Meanwhile, here's a real jaw-dropper that had considerable influence on my work in progress: The Pakistani-Peruvian axis. It's not what you think it is, by the title.
214 posted on 01/31/2012 4:51:12 PM PST by Noumenon ("I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands." Col. Nicholson-The Bridge on the River Qwai)
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To: Noumenon
The commentary’s pretty good, too - reminiscent of what we used have here on a regular basis. Now - not so much.

Dig it. I miss the good ol' days, too. These were 200+ of some of the most insightful things I've read on FR in a long time.

Question for you: your stuff on the will to power I found quite compelling, and I think your argument for the vacuum left behind by the decline of the church is fairly water-tight, but I wonder what you think of the "will to power," if you will, of the earlier church?

And I'm not really trying to present an argument, but bring up a topic of conversation, to wit: though the Christian church was singular in the foundation of western morality (good & evil), there's no doubt that a great deal of violence was also done in the name of the church . . . often Christian on Christian violence. Because I'm part Acadian, I'm thinking, of course, of the diaspora in which protestant New Englanders used religion as an excuse to commit a version of genocide (albeit a "light" version of genocide, if there is such a thing) on the Acadians because, nominally, they were Catholic; although what they really had in mind was controlling the land that was then the breadbasket of North America.

Seems to me the "will to power" can exist in any institutional schema designed to govern, direct, or control the mind and the body of man, even in such a noble and august institution of a church. And while we conservatives are quick to point out the flaws of the institutions we look upon with a jaundiced eye - and rightly so, of course - we have to be careful to be fair across the board.

In any event, just a thought. Thanks again for the excellent piece, and the very best to you and yours.

215 posted on 01/31/2012 6:14:35 PM PST by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: Noumenon

Nice piece. I miss this type of writing.


216 posted on 01/31/2012 6:23:24 PM PST by Nita Nupress
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
Thanks for the well-considered response. You've raised a pertinent question: given that the desire for power, to rule over others, seems to be one of our human failings, what makes modern times any different in that respect than, say medieval times? Or the Dark Ages? Or the heyday of ancient Rome?

Part of the answer lies here: Don't Converge the Streams. The essence of the idea is that modern times saw the convergence of some uniquely toxic ideas and memes. Taken together, that convergence gave those who who are driven by the will to power the environment (in all respects), the ideas and the means to embark on the road to slaughter, ruin and atrocity - and I say that it is slaughter, ruin and atrocity for its own sake - beyond anything the world had seen. And, it continues unabated to this day. Somewhere, everywhere.

That's only part of the answer. Power's tough for some to resist. The power to harm others without consequence is more intoxicating than any drug to a particularly evil subset of humanity. The are other convergent factors that have combined to make modernity, for all of our technology and vaunted sophistication, one of the most barbaric episodes in human history. Consider Quigley's Pakistani-Peruvian Axis in the light of those convergent factors. I'm exploring another 'axis' - what I'm calling for now, the Scandinavian-Slavic axis. Loosely rendered, the Scandinavian-Slavic axis is composed of he following elements. First, the two-class warrior culture of the Vikings, who dominated far more of the post-Roman world than most people realize. The Vikings eventually came to conquer and to dominate the pastoral Slavs with their two-class (conqueror and conquered) militaristic culture. The combined nascent culture greatly admired and were dazzled by the power and the relative prosperity of the extant Byzantine culture, who in turn got their notions of totalitarianism from the old Roman Empire.

Byzantine Christianity also took a very different path with respect to its outlook - amounting to a Platonic view of Man and his place in the universe vs the more Aristotelian view.

The upshot is that the Western Christian outlook - so eloquently summarized by Quigley - never took hold in that part of the world. The outlook that eventually developed was totalitarian in the sense that the state essentially owned its subjects, nihilist in the sense that the world was viewed as an un-knowable and corrupt place and that death was the only respite from an evil existence, and that the core essence of Teutonic tribalism in all of its arrogance, savagery and lack of regard for human life never went away - it merely submerged itself in Teutonic sensibility until it was awakened by the monsters of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Beaten into submission in WW II, it still exists today.

Also recall that the Byzantine Empire eventually fell to one just as cruel and sadistic in its outlook (if not more so) - Islam.

That severing of the Byzantine connection left us with what I’m calling the Scandinavian-Slavic axis. It’s funny, isn't it, what happens to your outlook when you start looking at human history in terms of culture and ideas AND events rather than the conventional “one damn thing after another” event-only approach. Because “one damn thing after another” - a series of empty correlations - is all one can come up with absent an acknowledgement of the roles of culture and outlook - as embodied by those two great currents of human culture, custom and outlook.

Against those currents, we here in America stand very much alone.

217 posted on 01/31/2012 8:23:53 PM PST by Noumenon ("I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands." Col. Nicholson-The Bridge on the River Qwai)
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To: Hemingway's Ghost

BTW, a tip of the hat to fellow Acadian. I’m a Millet on my mom’s side, she born in Baton Rouge, LA. Lived in New Orleans until I was 9 years old. Still remember the old street cars and the flooded streets in hurricane season.


218 posted on 01/31/2012 8:28:28 PM PST by Noumenon ("I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands." Col. Nicholson-The Bridge on the River Qwai)
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To: Nita Nupress

Hey, Nita - long time no see. Hope you’re doing OK.

Regards...


219 posted on 01/31/2012 8:29:57 PM PST by Noumenon ("I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands." Col. Nicholson-The Bridge on the River Qwai)
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To: Noumenon
Well, this was just awesome.

Excellent thoughts, well-presented. Please do add me to any list you might have so I can be notified when your book comes out. I'd love to read it.

Our dit name is Poitiers: generation upon generation upon generation of small-time farmers, laborers, and people of no historical consequence whatsoever . . . but people who lived in the grand Acadian tradition of do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Our USA branch started in the 1920s.

220 posted on 02/01/2012 6:08:57 AM PST by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: OregonRancher

“There are some who are born evil. I’ve met them and seen
an emptiness in their souls that puts a fear into me for I
realized that the only way to combat them is to eliminate them
which would make me as evil as they are.”

My answer would be that Mosaic (and by extension, Christian and English Common Law) to the above would be that the Commandment said “Do not murder”. It specifically did not say “Do not kill”.

The Texan “Some folks just need killing” is correct and justifiable depending on the situation.

YMMV.


221 posted on 02/01/2012 3:31:52 PM PST by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is necessary to examine principles."...the public interest)
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To: GladesGuru; OregonRancher
I realized that the only way to combat them is to eliminate them which would make me as evil as they are.”

Now that's just silly.

The lover and the rapist are NOT equivalent. Failure to recognize that fact evinces profound lack of judgement.

222 posted on 02/02/2012 10:42:16 AM PST by papertyger
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To: GladesGuru
An Obamunist "Truth Team" Orwellian bump.

"Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling. Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty and then we shall fill you with ourselves."
George Orwell -- 1984

The abyss beckons.

223 posted on 02/13/2012 9:46:20 AM PST by Noumenon ("I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands." Col. Nicholson-The Bridge on the River Qwai)
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To: Noumenon
Gary Allen, in None Dare Call It Conspiracy brings up a point which aligns with your arguments:
We know that down through the annals of history small groups of men have existed who have conspired to bring the reins of power into their hands. History books are full of their schemes. Even Life magazine believes in conspiracies like the Cosa Nostra where men conspire to make money through crime. You may recall that Life did a series of articles on the testimony of Joseph Valachi before the McClellan Committee several years ago. There are some aspects of those revelations which are worth noting.

Most of us did not know the organization was called Cosa Nostra. Until Valachi "sang" we all thought it was named the Mafia. That is how little we knew about this group, despite the fact that it was a century old and had been operating in many countries with a self-perpetuating clique of leaders. We didn't even know it by its proper name. It is not possible a political conspiracy might exist, waiting for a Joseph Valachi to testify? Is Dr. Carroll Quigley the Joseph Valachi of political conspiracies?

We see that everybody, even Life magazine, believes in some sort of conspiracy. The question is: Which is the more lethal form of conspiracy criminal or political? And what is the difference between a member of the Cosa Nostra and a Communist, or more properly, an insider conspirator? Men like Lucky Luciano who have scratched and clawed to the top of the heap in organized crime must, of necessity, be diabolically brilliant, cunning and absolutely ruthless. But, almost without exception, the men in the hierarchy of organized crime have had no formal education. They were born into poverty and learned their trade in the back alleys of Naples, New York or Chicago.

Now suppose someone with this same amoral grasping personality were born into a patrician family of great wealth and was educated at the best prep schools, then Harvard, Yale or Princeton, followed by graduate work possibly at Oxford. In these institutions he would become totally familiar with history, economics, psychology, sociology and political science. After having graduated from such illustrious establishments of higher learning, are we likely to find him out on the streets peddling fifty cent tickets to a numbers game? Would you find him pushing marijuana to high schoolers or running a string of houses of prostitution? Would he be getting involved in gang-land killings? Not at all. For with that sort of education, this person would realize that if one wants power, real power, the lessons of history say, "Get into the government business." Become a politician and work for political power or, better yet, get some politicians to front for you. That is where the real power — and the real money — is.

Conspiracy to seize the power of government is as old as government itself. We can study the — conspiracies surrounding Alcibiades in Greece or Julius Caesar in ancient, Rome, but we are not supposed to think that men today scheme to achieve political power.


224 posted on 02/24/2012 12:43:02 PM PST by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: Noumenon
Thank you again, W. You do us all a great service. My very best to you.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2860231/posts?page=338#338

225 posted on 03/18/2012 9:44:11 AM PDT by Miss Behave (All ways, always.)
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To: Noumenon

Placemark to read hopefully tomorrow.


226 posted on 03/19/2012 9:29:16 PM PDT by little jeremiah (We will have to go through hell to get out of hell. Signed, a fanatic)
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To: little jeremiah

An eve of May Day bump...


227 posted on 04/30/2012 9:20:44 PM PDT by Noumenon ("I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands." Col. Nicholson-The Bridge on the River Qwai)
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To: Noumenon

Sheesh, I never read it. Thanks for the reminder.


228 posted on 05/01/2012 9:52:53 AM PDT by little jeremiah (We will have to go through hell to get out of hell. Signed, a fanatic)
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To: Noumenon

Timely bump for Summer 2012.


229 posted on 05/23/2012 11:00:35 AM PDT by meadsjn (Sarah 2012, or sooner)
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To: All

Bttt


230 posted on 06/22/2012 12:10:06 PM PDT by MeganC (No way in Hell am I voting for Mitt Romney. Not now, not ever. Deal with it.)
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Bttt


231 posted on 08/10/2012 7:36:29 PM PDT by ChowChowFace
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To: Noumenon

Masterful, Noumenon.

Horribly accurate, and masterful.


232 posted on 08/14/2012 1:22:46 PM PDT by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: NFHale; DuncanWaring; Lurker

Just wait until the book comes out. Progress has been slow but sure. The hardest part? The introduction. Must have written and re-written that piece of it at lest a dozen times.

Chapter titles are as follows:

1. Introduction

2. Like Gramsci’s Ghost…

3. Ideas Matter

4. The Will to Power

5. The Transvaluation of All Values

6. The Incredible Truth vs The Big Lie

7. The Flight From Truth

8. The Camp of the Saints

9. High Trust, Low Trust, No Trust

10. The Tyranny of the Weak

11. Only the Free…

I’ve re-ordered these chapters more than once, looking for better flow and coherence. But it’s coming together.


233 posted on 08/14/2012 1:33:14 PM PDT by Noumenon (Obama 2012: Zimbabwe without the airfare)
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To: Noumenon

RE Book:

When it’s done, I’m in. Want to read it.

Thank you for your efforts to educate people, brother...it isn’t easy.

But it is worthwhile.


234 posted on 08/14/2012 2:17:24 PM PDT by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: Noumenon

If you need any help editing, please let me know.


235 posted on 08/14/2012 8:26:06 PM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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To: Lurker

Will do, my friend. The manuscript will go out to you and a few others whose judgement I value. Stil lahve a lot of work to do, but the path of the arc I’m tracing is growing more distinct.


236 posted on 08/14/2012 9:43:03 PM PDT by Noumenon (Obama 2012: Zimbabwe without the airfare)
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To: ChowChowFace

BFL


237 posted on 08/28/2012 6:44:19 PM PDT by ChowChowFace
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To: Noumenon; Travis McGee
Timely bump to link to Travis McGee's
When The Music Stops – How America’s Cities May Explode In Violence
238 posted on 09/05/2012 9:21:44 PM PDT by meadsjn (Sarah 2012, or sooner)
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To: Noumenon

Will read later.


239 posted on 09/16/2012 11:51:09 AM PDT by Richard from IL
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To: Noumenon

Amazing essay. Thanks!


240 posted on 09/16/2012 2:37:48 PM PDT by Weirdad (Don't put up with ANY voter fraud...)
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To: Darnright
>>There used to be a link to that article on FR titled, “Who is Antonio Gramsci? You Better Learn”, but the link is now dead. This is one of those “required reading” pieces for anyone on this forum, especially anyone who cares about the future of our republic.<<

Gramsci's Grand Plan

WWGD? (What Would Gramsci Do?)

The Gramsci Factor

Why There Is A Culture War

Next Conservatism: What is Cultural Marxism

241 posted on 10/30/2012 10:15:01 AM PDT by B4Ranch (Stand Up and Be Counted ... Or Line Up and Be Numbered ...)
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To: Lurker

>>Do you remember that part in Unintended Consequences where Henry Bowman asked his Professor something along the lines of “How do we know when the Government is like that guy with the van and the handcuffs?”

Well I’d say we’re pretty much at that point now.

What do we do about it? Well that’s not a subject for this forum, nor any other public forum. That’s a subject for hushed whispers with trusted friends.<<

No, that is a subject that MUST be discussed in the open air where everyone, especially those who think they have control, can see and read.

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little. -—Edmund Burke

I have read about the Holocaust, I will not life to see another one because I refuse to kneel down to Islam. Christ is my Saviour not collectivism or Marxism!

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion...
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
John Adams:


242 posted on 10/30/2012 10:15:24 AM PDT by B4Ranch (Stand Up and Be Counted ... Or Line Up and Be Numbered ...)
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To: Noumenon; Travis McGee; yoe; AuntB; Kaslin; Navy Patriot; blam; Perdogg; rightwingintelligentsia; ..

>>They can’t afford even the pretense of an election. There will be... a crisis. And then all hell will break loose. There are people on both sides - all sides, really - just waiting for an excuse. Best to choose your point of entry into this coming conflict very carefully - if you can. Do what you must to live through it. The alternative is unthinkable. <<

I have kept this article listed on my calendar for a response today. Today is when we start an uprising in support of The Presidential Election, November 6, 2012. Today is the day to call your representatives and tell them that you support them and want to vote for them on November 6, 2012. Tell them to resist any efforts to delay this election.

Ask those who have the skills to do a video for YouTube in support of The Presidential Election, November 6, 2012. Let both sides know that the American people want to vote and we want to vote on November 6, 2012.

If you know how to do graphics, please make and post posters in support of The Presidential Election, November 6, 2012. Give hope to both sides so they won’t do anything to prevent us from voting on schedule.


243 posted on 10/30/2012 10:32:00 AM PDT by B4Ranch (Stand Up and Be Counted ... Or Line Up and Be Numbered ...)
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To: Noumenon

copying to my HDD to read at my leisure


244 posted on 10/30/2012 10:34:38 AM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: B4Ranch

Thanks for the links!


245 posted on 10/30/2012 12:11:20 PM PDT by Darnright ("I don't trust liberals, I trust conservatives." - Lucius Annaeus Seneca)
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To: Noumenon

Delsol bump. She helps one think.


246 posted on 11/05/2012 7:02:22 PM PST by cornelis
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To: cornelis; Lurker; DuncanWaring
As we witness the death of the Republic, here's more from Delsol regarding modern totalitarianism:

“Twentieth century totalitarianism treated those it ruled as a multitude of faceless individuals. They were not considered persons, but were denied their dignity and forbidden from developing true relationships with others. Admonitions against close family ties or close friendships were the essence of this particular form of dehumanization. Nor were individuals considered subjects. They were deprived of freedom of thought and the freedom to shape their own destinies.”

“Western society in late modernity is reminiscent of holism in its effacement of the subject: the individual confirms the common conscience and avoids personal responsibility. It is reminiscent of totalitarianism in that it has in common the construction of collectives or masses and its weakening of the person-subject, who has trouble dealing with difference and participating in heterogeneous groups. Neither communitarian nor totalitarian, yet sharing common characteristics with both, the society of late-modern individuals is one of spontaneous gregariousness. It is merely a renewed form of the age-old phenomenon of involuntary servitude.”

Chantal Delsol, Unlearned Lessons of the Twentieth Century - An essay on Late Modernity, pp.135

Delsol's acute observations regarding modern Western societies at times fail to take into account that the old totalitarianism that she references have not completely given way to and been supplanted by the soulless and hollowed out nature of the modern individual. The 'old totalitarianisms,' informed and fueled by the modern will-to-power have been merely biding their time until there were sufficient numbers of empty human beings to make their comeback definitive, final and fatally complete.

247 posted on 11/09/2012 10:27:43 AM PST by Noumenon ("The other side wants everything in America to be free, except us." Paul Ryan)
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To: Noumenon
Thanks for saying this. I remember a time when here on FR debates were polite intellectual challenges and at times I would laugh incredibly hard.

Now it seems like it's more name-calling and one line replies of no substance.

248 posted on 11/09/2012 10:32:00 AM PST by MarMema (eh.)
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To: Noumenon
Byzantine Christianity also took a very different path with respect to its outlook - amounting to a Platonic view of Man and his place in the universe vs the more Aristotelian view.

Can you elaborate on this?

249 posted on 11/09/2012 10:53:01 AM PST by MarMema (eh.)
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To: MarMema
Yes. Better still, I'll give you the relevant section from Carroll Quigley's Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time. Speaking about the collapse of the Roman Empire, he noted:

It was discovered that man can live without a state; this became the basis of Western liberalism. It was discovered that the state, if it exists, must serve men and that it is incorrect to believe that the purpose of men is to serve the state. It was discovered that economic life, religious life, law, and private property can all exist and function effectively without a state. From this emerged laissez-faire, separation of Church and State, rule of law, and the sanctity of private property. In Rome, in Byzantium, and in Russia, law was regarded as an enactment of a supreme power. In the West, when no supreme power existed, it was discovered that law still existed as the body of rules which govern social life. Thus law was found by observation in the West, not enacted by autocracy as in the East. This meant that authority was established by law and under the law in the West, while authority was established by power and above the law in the East. The West felt that the rules of economic life were found and not enacted; that individuals had rights independent of, and even opposed to, public authority; that groups could exist, as the Church existed, by right and not by privilege, and without the need to have any charter of incorporation entitling them to exist as a group or act as a group; that groups or individuals could own property as a right and not as a privilege and that such property could not be taken by force but must be taken by established process of law. It was emphasized in the West that the way a thing was done was more important than what was done, while in the East what was done was far more significant than the way in which it was done.

There was also another basic distinction between Western Civilization and Russian Civilization. This was derived from the history of Christianity. This new faith came into Classical Civilization from Semitic society. In its origin it was a this-worldly religion, believing that the world and the flesh were basically good, or at least filled with good potentialities, because both were made by God; the body was made in the image of God; God became Man in this world with a human body, to save men as individuals, and to establish "Peace on earth." The early Christians intensified the "this-worldly" tradition, insisting that salvation was possible only because God lived and died in a human body in this world, that the individual could be saved only through God's help (grace) and by living correctly in this body on this earth (good works), that there would be, some day, a millennium on this earth and that, at that Last Judgment, there would be a resurrection of the body and life everlasting. In this way the world of space and time, which God had made at the beginning with the statement, "It was good" (Book of Genesis), would, at the end, be restored to its original condition.

This optimistic, "this-worldly" religion was taken into Classical Civilization at a time when the philosophic outlook of that society was quite incompatible with the religious outlook of Christianity. The Classical philosophic outlook, which we might call Neoplatonic, was derived from the teachings of Persian Zoroastrianism, Pythagorean rationalism, and Platonism. It was dualistic, dividing the universe into two opposed worlds, the world of matter and flesh and the world of spirit and ideas. The former world was changeable, unknowable, illusionary, and evil; the latter world was eternal, knowable, real, and good. Truth, to these people, could be found by the use of reason and logic alone, not by use of the body or the senses, since these were prone to error, and must be spurned. The body, as Plato said, was the "tomb of the soul."

Thus the Classical world into which Christianity came about A.D. 60 believed that the world and the body were unreal, unknowable, corrupt, and hopeless and that no truth or success could be found by the use of the body, the senses, or matter. A small minority, derived from Democritus and the early Ionian scientists through Aristotle, Epicurus, and Lucretius, rejected the Platonic dualism, preferring materialism as an explanation of reality. These materialists were equally incompatible with the new Christian religion. Moreover, even the ordinary citizen of Rome had an outlook whose implications were not compatible with the Christian religion. To give one simple example: while the Christians spoke of a millennium in the future, the average Roman continued to think of a "Golden Age" in the past, just as Homer had.

Let me apologize for throwing at you so much text so densely packed with meaning and information. Virtually every sentence and frame of reference in these few paragraphs presupposes considerable background knowledge, not all of which I posses. Quigley was scholar and a philosopher of almost frightening erudition, tossing off revelatory insights as casual asides. But I think that the gist of it is clear enough for the purposes of this conversation, and ti may go someway towards answering your question.

250 posted on 11/09/2012 3:18:07 PM PST by Noumenon (As long as you have a rifle, you STILL have a vote.)
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