RE: MD moral clarity!?

From: Erin Noonan (
Date: Sat Sep 28 2002 - 22:21:10 BST

1.welcome back DMB

2.I have a sneaking suspicion that Paco is the new
identity of Rog--- if it is I take back my welcome and
plead for you to get help for your idenity crisis
okay riskybiz,rog, mistidawg, and now aka paco?


>Paco, Rasheed, Matt, Rog and all:
>"...a culture that supports the dominance of intellectual values over social
>values is absolutely superior to one that does not." chapter 24
>MATT said:
>Maybe they can. The very word "conservative" seems to indicate a
>predilection towards static patters of value, does it not?
>ROG responded:
>Yes, I would say that it would indicate a predilection toward static social
>patterns of quality. Don't see that this means that they are
>dumb though.
>On Bush's "axis of evil" PACO said:
>Clarity isn't the same as immaturity. I respect your
>views on the issue, but a lot of really bright people
>found this clarity to be brilliant. Others (equally
>PACO also said:
>I suggest he was shooting for moral clarity
>in a sea of relativist moral confusion.
>PACO added:
>Again, a lot of Americans are relieved to find a
>President with the moral clarity to use America's
>power, influence and moral vision to influence the
>world as opposed to follow the misguided dereliction of
>the UN or of Radical environmentalists...
>Gents, I think the MOQ explains why conservatives seem to posses moral
>clarity and, at the same time, why they seem to be so darn stupid. Simply
>put, conservatism is part of the conflict that dominated the 20th century
>and continues to this day. One can see this conflict in the history books,
>in today's newspaper and in these MOQ conversations. In the conflict between
>social and intellectual values, conservatism sides with the former. That's
>why it seems morally certain and anti-intellectual. Pirsig devotes a big
>portion of Lila to this issue and re repeatedly insists on its importance.
>From chapter 21...
>" earthquake of such enormous consequences that we are still stunned by
>it, so stunned that we haven't yet fiqured out what has happened to us. The
>advent of both democratic and communistic socialism and the fascist reaction
>to them has been the consequence of this earthquake."
>"The new culture that emerged was the first in history to believe that
>patterns of society must be subordinate to patterns of the intellect. The
>one dominating question of this century..."
>"Victorians repressed the truth whenever it seemed socially unacceptable."
>Pirsig opens chapter 22 by describing this same shift in values as a
>hurricane and says, "These were days of evolutionary transformation" as
>important as the death of Socrates or the day when the first "freak fish"
>walked on land. In short, this issue is huge. Its one of the most important
>themes in Lila and in the world's contemporary political conflicts.
>But conservatism isn't exactly the same thing as Victorianism or reactionary
>fascism, you say? That's true, but neither is liberalism the same as
>democratic socialism or communism. The most extreme examples are useful in
>helping us make more subtle distinctions, in helping us see beyond the
>obvious. And since Lila is an inquiry into morals, looking at politics in
>terms of the conflict between social and intellectual values is how we
>achieve a more genuine moral clarity. The kind of moral clarity offered up
>by Bush and other conservatives is nothing more than re-assertion of
>conventional social moral codes. This isn't fascism. Fascism has been
>marginalized and has only the thinest of ties to the most conservative of
>conservatives, but still... from chapter 24...
>"The end of the twentieth century in America seems to be an intellectual,
>social and economic rust-belt, a whole society that has given up on Dynamic
>improvement and is slowly trying to slip back to Victorianism."
>More specifically, I think the phrase "axis of evil" harkens back to that
>murderous Victorian arrogance Pirsig describes in chapter 21.
>"Victorians wanted to destroy "inferior" societies because inferior
>societies were a form of evil. Colonialism...became with Victorians a MORAL
>course, a "white man's burden" to spread their social patterns and thus
>virtue throughout the world." This, in turn, reminds me of the most extreme
>example of social level movement. From chapter 22...
>"This conflict explains the driving force behind Hitler not as an insame
>search for power bit as am all-consuming glorification of social authority
>and hatred of intellectualism."
>On the same page, Pirsig offers FDR as a contrasting example. While the
>German fascists were burning books and intellectuals, FDR was implimenting
>the NEW DEAL, which was "a new deal for the intellectuals of America".
>Today's conservative aren't likely to go goosestepping down the street or
>fire up the ovens anytime soon, but they're likely to take a negative view
>of FDR, intellectuals and the New Deal. "'That Man', as the old aristocrats
>sometimes called Roosevelt, was turning the the whole United States of
>America over to foreign radical, 'eggheads', 'commies' and the like. He was
>a 'traitor to his class'."
>Pirsig provides tons of examples, events, people, organizations and isms all
>to help us see which level of values is at work. He also adds the notion of
>Rights as a kind of moral code. (chapter 24)It serves as a principle that
>applies to just about any example or hypothetical situation one can imagine.
>And its no accident that conservatives tend to oppose, often quite
>stidently, any organization, policy, or ism that puts an emphasis on civil
>rights, human rights and such. Conservative seem to know on some instinctive
>level that the universal assertion of rights is a threat to their values,
>their social values.
>Moral clarity? The phrase "axis of evil" is simple enough that everyone can
>understand it, especially since the nations on that axis have been demonized
>for many years. On a conventional level, in a John Wayne sort of way, on a
>social level it sits well. As a foreign policy statement, however, it is
>hopelessly stupid. Its irrational. (That fact that the terrorists see us as
>the Great Satan is an irony lost on these hawks.) But it hardly matters and
>the policy makers know that. Talk of war stirs the blood in some ancient and
>mysterious way. Ratioinality and clarity doesn't have anything to do with
>it. Neither do morals.
>PS A speech writer created the "axis of evil" phrase. Bush wanted it to be
>"the axle of naughtiness", but Rumsfeld talked him out of it.
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