Re: MD Biological - Terrorism?

From: Arlo J. Bensinger (
Date: Mon Dec 13 2004 - 00:39:17 GMT

  • Next message: David Buchanan: "RE: MD Is Morality Relative?"


    > 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.

    On one hand you seem to say that it is a function of "society" to use
    individuals as "biological tools". This is an interesting area, and I agree
    with Pirsig (and you) on this.

    However, then you suggest only the "left" manipulates this? Are you suggesting
    the "right" does no manipulation? Or that the "right's" manipulation is okay in
    your book?

    > In defense of our freedom and way of life, we are also "pawns." Have you
    > ever served in the military?

    No, I have not. But I have immediate family, and a few close friends serving.
    Three currently in Iraq.

    > 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.)

    What I said was that I find the argument hard to believe that the terrorists are
    fighting for the ability to exist under a tyranny. It makes no sense to me to
    say suicide bombers in Iraq are realistically fighting for domination over the
    U.S., any more than it makes sense to say they are fighting to have a tyranny
    re-imposed on the region.

    I am thinking of Quality, again, from the point of view of the individual. What
    level of Quality are the terrorists fighting for? Like I said, it can't be
    biological. Social? This does not make sense if the "social quality" they are
    seeking is to exist under a tyrannical dictator. Intellectual? We may debate
    the soundness to their reason, but this is the only of Pirsig's levels that
    makes sense to me to say "it is this level of quality that is motivating the

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

    I've read "manifestos" by U.S. radicals calling for the elimination of blacks
    and gays, and mexicans, and arabs... This type of hatred has historically
    always existed. I do not know what the solution is, but I do see that our
    actions are creating more and more people who now "want islamic conquest".

    Also, why is "islamic hegemony" the "precise opposite of self-determination",
    but "U.S. hegemony" is something worth fighting (or arguing) for?

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

    Well, fair enough. So let's say "realpolitik" is the driving Intellectual value
    behind hegemony and imperialism. Agree?

    > > 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?

    Vaguely. I'll have a look back at Lila over the next few days. I've been trying
    to do this anyways, for the Chomsky thread, but the more I fall behind in that,
    the harder it is to get a post ready!

    But, okay, so long as we agree that "all societies use physical violence, in
    degrees, in order to survive".

    > 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
    > do.

    Distortion? The documents were right there for you to read! But you've evaded
    the point:

    (1) The people of Chile democratically elected Allende.

    (2) We backed his removal, and the power of Pinochet, a brutal dictator who
    murdered thousands of Chilean citizens.

    (3) This happened because his "marxist" reforms would hurt U.S. business

    For the life of me Platt, I can't understand how people can be soooo "patriotic"
    as to deliberately ignore, or dismiss, horrible things their government does.
    But for others following this thread I'll point out to take notice of the way
    the conservatives have manipulted dialogue. ANY criticism of the U.S., even
    stemming from unedited CIA documents, can be simply dismissed as "leftist
    distortion" without any cognitive difficulty. This to me is very scary indeed.

    But let me as this question... do you support the right of the U.S. to overthrow
    democratically elected leaders of foreign nations if we do not like their
    political orientations?

    And, if we are "pro-freedom", how is it that we backed Pinochet, even though the
    world was quite aware of the atroctities he was committing? If it is not "for
    U.S. business interests", what was it for?

    Finally, do you believe a brutal dictatorship is higher Quality than a
    democratically elected marxist government?

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

    Do you believe we can "end terrorism"? Seems to me there will always be people
    who hate, or who feel the mandate to commit terrorists acts. I think the best
    we can do is to minimize the context from which hate originates.

    For example, if the U.S. government had responded to Timothy McVeighs terrorist
    attack in Oklahoma, as MSH has recently mentioned in another thread, by bombing
    Montana and Michigan, and rounding up the militias, putting them in prison
    camps, and napalming the streets (as we did in Iraq), would this have (1)
    ended the ability of U.S. militias to recruit new members, or (2) created a
    surge of membership?

    Surge, right? And that is exactly why this "war on terror" is ludicrous. Just
    like our "war on drugs", what a big success, eh?

    > 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
    > absolute.

    How is prohibiting gay marriage, calling for censoring music and television and
    books, futher resticting "vice", and the other similar agenda items of the
    "right" NOT "we know what's best for you"????

    I think the "left" considers it to be "nonintellectual" is because many of the
    issues raised are simply "fear" and xenophobia. And because during the
    campaign, baptist churches were telling their congregations if they vote for
    Kerry they would go to hell. Because of the circulated ads that told hunters
    Kerry would take their guns and ban hunting if he was elected. I listen to
    right-wing radio nearly everyday, Platt, I hear little intellectual reasoning.
    It is mostly "fear fear fear". Fear of the "liberal elite" (whatever that is),
    contempt for academia, fear of gays marrying, fear of "communism" (still, after
    all these years). Right wing radio is practically indistinguishable from the
    hell-evoking tele-evangelists. How is that "intellectual"?

    To be honest, the ONLY topic where I've heard valid intellectual reasoning
    evidenced the dialogue is on the topic of abortion. "When does life begin?" is
    likely the most profound Intellectual question our politicians are haggling

    But we are getting way off topic...


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