RE: MD moral clarity!?

From: Erin Noonan (
Date: Sun Sep 29 2002 - 00:19:03 BST

>===== Original Message From =====
>That is why I wrote "And yes, it is me!" at the end of
>my first post under this screen name with this new
>email. My style and views are kind of unmistakeable,
>no? Heck, David pasted me together flawlessly. Sorry
>for any confusion. You can call me anything.

Poster formerly known as Rog,
I don't remember seeing "and yes, it is me!" unless
you are talking about the "Brittany for President".
But okay, anything?...hmmm this could be fun.


>> 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?
>> erin
>> >Paco, Rasheed, Matt, Rog and all:
>> >
>> >"...a culture that supports the dominance of intellectual values over
>> >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
>> >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
>> >bright)didn't.
>> >
>> >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
>> >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
>> >it, so stunned that we haven't yet fiqured out what has happened to us.
>> >advent of both democratic and communistic socialism and the fascist
>> >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
>> >themes in Lila and in the world's contemporary political conflicts.
>> >
>> >But conservatism isn't exactly the same thing as Victorianism or
>> >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
>> >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
>> >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
>> >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
>> >sometimes called Roosevelt, was turning the the whole United States of
>> >America over to foreign radical, 'eggheads', 'commies' and the like. He
>> >a 'traitor to his class'."
>> >
>> >Pirsig provides tons of examples, events, people, organizations and isms
>> >to help us see which level of values is at work. He also adds the notion
>> >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
>> >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
>> >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
>> >understand it, especially since the nations on that axis have been
>> >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
>> >the Great Satan is an irony lost on these hawks.) But it hardly matters
>> >the policy makers know that. Talk of war stirs the blood in some ancient
>> >mysterious way. Ratioinality and clarity doesn't have anything to do with
>> >it. Neither do morals.
>> >
>> >DMB
>> >
>> >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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