Re: MD Biological - Terrorism?

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Sun Dec 12 2004 - 15:10:00 GMT

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    Hi Arlo,

    > > Yes. Terrorists are biological "tools" of a radical element in Muslim
    > > society. As Pirsig says, you meet biological force with force.

    > I am suspiscious of this wording, because the substitution, "US soldiers
    > are biological "tools" of the US Government". What this implies to me, is
    > that all humans can be considered "biological tools" of their respective
    > social patterns, "tools" that are used in differing capacities (violence,
    > building, farming, etc).

    Yes, at the social level individuals are considered "biological tools" as
    Pirsig points out in his discussion of "The Giant." Unfortunately, there
    are those on the left who also consider individuals as tools to be
    manipulate for a "higher good," namely "the public interest" which they
    worship as God.
    > Instead, I tend to look at individuals and their particular Quality
    > decisions. "Terrorists" are engaging in this activity because of some
    > personal decision, not as blind pawns of static social patterns. If they
    > are, then how are "we" not?

    In defense of our freedom and way of life, we are also "pawns." Have you
    ever served in the military?
    > We keep referring to this as a battle
    > of "freedom versus tyranny", yet who would become a suicide bomber to fight
    > for his right to exist as a slave under tyranny? No one, and so the freedom
    > v. tyranny has a ring of propaganda to it (to me).

    It's one thing to fight to impose tyranny on someone else. It's another to
    fight to preserve one's freedom from tyranny. (Your statement above
    reflects a moral equivalency between the Islamic terrorists and the U.S.)

    > But maybe it is not even so much a clash of static social patterns, as it
    > is a clash of Intellectual patterns (hegemony and realpolitik on our side,
    > self-determination and a resistance to hegemony on theirs). This would
    > certainly explain why only the "free" countries that have pursued
    > imperialism in this geographic region are cited in their leaders' speeches,
    > and why the US has been targetted the most.

    No. What "they" want is Islamic hegemony, the precise opposite of self-
    determination. You have read their manifestos haven't you?

    > Of course, it is social in many ways. One is, of course, that both sides
    > are using the "preserve society" rhetoric to enlist the biological force
    > necessary. But I don't think its honest to say that both sides are fighting
    > to preserve their "society", it appears to me to be more "right" to say
    > they are fighting over the Intellectual question of hegemony.

    I don't see hegemony (domination of others) as an intellectual value, but
    as a biological one.

    > You said initially:
    > > > > Physical violence (murder) threatens the social fabric. Totalitarian
    > > > > societies depend on physical violence, i.e., biological terrorism, to
    > survive
    > You said later:
    > > Yes. Societies are threatened both internally and externally by
    > > biological forces. Regardless of the source, to survive a society must
    > > meet force with force.
    > So it seems to me that "totalitarian societies" are not the only societies
    > to depend on physical violence to survive. They all do, albeit to varying
    > degrees perhaps, yes?

    Yes. The degree is important as well as the law that limites the police in
    what they can and cannot do. Do you recall Pirsig saying that the reason
    for a Constitution is to give instructions to the military and police?

    > From this report... "declassified report required by the U.S. Congress on
    > its Web site Wednesday that admits CIA support for a kidnapping attempt of
    > Chile's army chief in October 1970, as part of a plot to prevent the
    > congressional confirmation of Marxist leader Salvador Allende as
    > president." Remembering that Allende was *DEMOCRATICALLY* elected , and the
    > US became invested in his overthrow when he announced the socialization of
    > Chilean fruit production (as well as copper and banking), which everyone in
    > Chile was for, but hurt US business interests in the area. This may be a
    > simplification, but it certainly is right on target. Instead of their
    > democratically elected, but marxist, leader, we gave Chile Pinochet, a
    > murderous dictator, but who was kind to US business interests.
    > How is this NOT terrorism? How would you respond if another country, say
    > China, did to us exactly what we did to Chile? I bet you'd see it as
    > terrorism then, right?

    When are you guys on the left going to get over your distorted history of
    Chile? The U.S. didn't want a another communist country in the Western
    hemisphere for good reason having witnessed the tyrannies in the U.S.S.R.,
    East Germany, Cuba and other worker's paradises. Now Chile is a democratic
    republic, thanks to the U.S., a fact you ought to be celebrating as they

    > > Yes. I would simply add that a society has the moral right to defend
    > > itself from biological forces threatened or initiated against it from
    > > within or without. Agree?
    > Agree. I just think we need to be careful about not labeling every threat
    > as "biological" to justify a morally justified defense. In the present
    > discussion, I am not seeing the conflict as one of biological versus social
    > patterns.

    To end terrorism would be to end a biological assault on society.

    > And I would add that the Intellectual should be used to determine in a
    > perceived biological threat (alcohol or sex, for example) is an actual
    > threat to the social patterns or not. Looking to Germany, for example, I
    > could argue that repressive laws governing the consumption of beer are not
    > necessary for the survival of social patterns, Germany has been around for
    > quite a while even though it is "legal" for its citizens to walk down the
    > street with a bottle of beer.
    Yes. Where you draw the line on these biological assaults on society is an
    ongoing intellectual debate. For now in the U.S., having witnessed both
    sides of the debate in the election, conservatives have gained the upper
    hand. Of course, intellectuals on the left consider the voters' decision
    to be nonintellectual, a polite way of saying "stupid." That liberals
    believes they have a monopoly on intellect never ceases to astonish at the
    arrogance of it. "We know what's best for you" is their barely hidden

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