Re: MD Definition of 'liberal'

From: David MOREY (
Date: Sun Mar 21 2004 - 12:55:13 GMT

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    Hi DMB

    I liked your post and would just like to agree
    with the relationship you describe between
    conservatism, socialism, lieberalism, the social,
    intellectual and DQ. Yes, we have yet to find how to square
    intellectual planning and development beyond social values
    with maintaining an openness to DQ. This
    seems to be the essential political task.

    David M
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "David Buchanan" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Saturday, March 20, 2004 11:36 PM
    Subject: RE: MD Definition of 'liberal'

    > JoVo and all liberal MOQers:
    > JoVo said;
    > this question is directed more to the American fellows on this platform.
    > What I don't really understand concerning American culture in general
    > and this election specifically is the use of the concept of 'liberal'.
    > The reason to dwell on that is, that I consider it to be as one of
    > Pirsigs messages in his two books - as pronounced by most philosophers
    > by the way - that an individual should aim at making independant
    > choices in all his doings; taking responsibility for what he does. To do
    > so he should get rid of - or better - should carefully review his
    > opinions to sort out those, that basically stick to the social and not
    > the intellectual level.
    > dmb replies:
    > The word has slightly different meanings depending on where and when you
    > are. Here in the States lots of people will tell you that they are
    > liberal and fiscally conservative. (Which means they are sleazy
    > Just kidding.) But basically the word is opposed to "conservative".
    > Conventional wisdom hold that the Democratic party is for liberals and the
    > Republican party is the home of conservatives. (Its really a lot more
    > complicated, but I'll spare you the boring details.) And in Pirsigian
    > these two rivals basically represent the conflict between intellectual and
    > social values.
    > "The hurricane of social forces released by the overthrow of society by
    > intellect was most strongly felt in Europe, ..where Communism and
    > programs for intellectual control over society, were confronted by the
    > reactionary forces of fascism, a program for the social control of
    > intellect." P274
    > "The New Deal was many things, but at the center of it all was the belief
    > that intellectual planning by the government was necessary for society to
    > regain its health. was also a new deal for the intelllectuals of
    > America." P274
    > dmb says:
    > The New Deal was the most liberal, most left leaning government in
    > history, but it still was far from the kind of socialism we saw in Europe.
    > It would probably be considered moderate by European standards. In any
    > I think we can see that liberalism, socialism and communism are not
    > everywhere the same, but what they have in common, according to Pirsig, is
    > that they are all aimed at intellectual, rather than social, control of
    > society. By contrast, fascism, fundamentalism and conservatism are not
    > everywhere the same, but what they all share in common is the wish for
    > social control of society.
    > JoVo said:
    > Furthermore, Pirsig pleads for a free market in contrast to a guided
    > marked. Note that this also fits the definition of what I quoted above
    > from my dictonary.
    > dmb replies:
    > Right. Pirsig's MOQ calls for intellect over society, but it also calls
    > DQ over intellect. This is why he's in favor of a free market. Its
    > This is not a paradox or contradiction. To reconcile the two is easier
    > than done, but that's becasue its so very easy to say. What the MOQ calls
    > for is an intellectually guided society, some kind of liberalism or
    > socialism, that does NOT make the mistake of blocking out DQ. Not only is
    > capitalism less moral, it never figured out DQ either. They were correct,
    > but without knowing why.
    > "That's what neither the socialists nor the capitalists ever got figured
    > out. From a static point of view socialism is more moral than capitalism.
    > Its a higher form of evolution. It is an intellecually guided society, not
    > just a society that is guided by mindless traditions. That's what gives
    > socialism its drive. But what the socialists left out and what has all but
    > killed the whole undertaking is an absence of a concept of indefinite DQ."
    > P220
    > JoVo said:
    > What I do not understand - and I follow the American press quite
    > intensively during the last weeks - why some MOQ-discussers on this
    > platform oppose so fervently all people that call themselves 'liberal'!
    > This stand does not seem to fit to basical 'Pirsig-standards' IMO.
    > Maybe, Platt, you could explain that to me as you seem to oppose very
    > much American 'liberals'.
    > dmb says:
    > As one of the American liberals that Platt very often opposes, I too think
    > Platt's views don't fit the MOQ. Or more precisely, Platt usually takes
    > the MOQ describes as the less moral position in the social/intellectual
    > conflict. This baffles me. I honestly don't know how anyone could read and
    > study Pirsig for years and still fail to see where Pirsig is politically.
    > even refers to himself explicitly as a "liberal intellectual". These basic
    > MOQisms are so clear and simple that they can only be resisted by sheer
    > force of will. In fact, I've confronted Platt with these quotes many times
    > and nothing has ever made a dent, which is only to be expected. There is
    > extremely stubborn, even militant, quality to the reactionary mind. As in
    > the case of George Bush, there seems to be an infinite capacity to ignore
    > uncomfortable facts in the conservative mind, "hopelessly static" as
    > puts it.
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