Category Archives: Libertarians

Lectures on the Philosophy of World History

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Stupid is as stupid does. This means YOU Liberals.

Hegel Knew There Would Be Days Like These

There have been places and periods of history when only a congenital optimist could have had any hope for the future of our species. Think of the end of Athens’s golden age, the fall of the Roman Empire, the petering out of the Renaissance, the close of the Enlightenment, the rise of fascism…

It’s when things look bleak indeed that it pays to remember the German 19th century philosopher Hegel. In his Lectures on the Philosophy of World History, published in 1830, Hegel offered us a way of looking at the darker periods of history that neither glosses over their pain nor refuses to give up hope — but intelligently helps us to understand why human progress cannot be linear while encouraging us to trust that it does occur nevertheless.

For Hegel, history moves forward in what he termed a dialectical way. A dialectic is a philosophical term for an argument made up of three parts:

  1. A thesis
  2. An antithesis
  3. And a synthesis

Both the thesis and the antithesis contain parts of the truth, but they are also exaggerations and distortions of the whole, and so need to clash and interact, until their best elements find resolution in a synthesis.

                          Lady Liberty leading the People

Hegel thought this pattern a constant in history. The world makes progress by lurching from one extreme to another, as it seeks to compensate for previous mistakes and generally requires three moves before the right balance on any issue can be found.

For example, the Ancient Athenians discovered the idea of individual liberty, but their regime was blind to the need for collective discipline and organisation. The Ancient Persians knew all about that and were thereby able to conquer the Athenians on the battlefield, yet they were also despotic enemies of free thought, which with time became its own liability. It took many centuries for the correct synthesis between liberty and discipline to be worked out in the form of the Roman Empire.

In Hegel’s own era, the stifling, unfair 18th-century system of inherited monarchy had been abolished by the French Revolution — but what should have been the peaceful birth of representative government ended up in the anarchy and chaos of the Terror. This in turn led to the emergence of Napoleon, who restored order but became a military brute, trampling on the liberty he had professed to love. Only after forty years and much bloodshed did the modern ‘balanced constitution’ emerge, an arrangement which more sensibly balanced up popular representation with the rights of minorities.

Or to take another example, the European Enlightenment had stressed the importance of Reason, but it had in many parts been sterile and reductive. The movement known as Romanticism had then swept in to assert the importance of Emotion but this had carried excesses of its own. Only eventually had a correct reconciliation been worked out between the legitimate, competing needs of Reason and Emotion.

Hegel’s argument has a highly consoling feel at moments when it seems that one kind of progress has been entirely lost. He is on hand to reassure us that we are merely seeing the pendulum swing back for a time. Yet he also wisely counselled that this was needed because the initial move forward had been blind to a range of crucial insights. All sides on a matter will contain important truths lodged amidst exaggerations, and bombast — yet will eventually be sifted through the wisdom of time.

Hegel reminds us that big overreactions are eminently compatible with events broadly moving forward in the right direction. The dark moments aren’t the end, they’re a challenging but even in some ways necessary part of an antithesis that will — eventually — locate a wiser point of synthesis.


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Objectively Speaking…………….

There is no principle by which genocide—a crime against a group of men—can be regarded as morally different from (or worse than) a crime against an individual: the difference is only quantitative, not moral. It can be easily demonstrated that Communism means and requires the extermination—the genocide, if you wish—of a particular human species: the men of ability.

~ Ayn Randaynrand-ideal-2

Note:  How do you feed and employ millions when you’ve outlawed production <by capitalism and fair trade>? You don’t. You exterminate the excess population which cannot be sustained by a system that rewards need instead of competence.

Friends With Everybody? Or Nobody?

You Can’t Please All of the People All of the Time

Social Media Applications such as Facebook created an avenue for the average American to express their opinions on a broad canvas.  Some people think they instantly transform into syndicated journalists.

But The truth Holds.  You Can’t Please All of the People All of the Time and you certainly cannot create laws to regulate opinions.  Or can you?  Lenin and Stalin made attempts at controlling public opinion and look what it got them.

Here is a recent offering made by “conservative” users on FB.  What’s the point?  And was this actually made by true conservatives?

SeldomBinLaid

Common Sense says you cannot legislate Common Sense.

I´ve got 99 Words for Happiness, but the Germans only have One

I see the positive side of this in semantics as well.  All these American English words are based in Goodness. The word “Good” is based on several psalms and verses.  Some argue that it has roots in the word “God.”  Timothy 4:4 “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude;”

– See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/God,-Goodness-Of

The-Goodness-of-God

Mappalicious

In earlier posts, I´ve shared with you my personal feeling that Positive Psychology and the German language seem to be a bit of a mismatch, as my mother tongue is impoverished with respect to words describing positive experiences and states of being. Later on, I shared a study that is able to demonstrate that some languages are indeed happier than others – in that they are able to “hold” more positivity.

Today, I stumbled upon another piece of evidence pertaining to that matter. Below, you´ll see screenshots of the two most important translation websites in Germany. On the left, you can see the English words, a wide array positive states (of mind). On the right, the German translations are displayed. As you can see, all those English words are translated into the same German expression: Glück.

If Wittgenstein was right, and “The limits of my language means the limits of my world”, then having only a single…

View original post 50 more words

“You Don’t Have To Push – They’ll Fall In By Themselves” ~ Thomas E. Urich (Sr.)

I Used to Live with a Narcissist!!

UPDATED 17 May 2015 from an earlier post

In some ways, everybody is a narcissist.  A little bit of pride – a little bit of boast – a little bit of bravado.  These people were in Band in the public school system.  They were cheerleaders or majorettes.  They were on the football or basketball team.

There were not, however, on the swim team.**

There is a difference.  A healthy amount of confidence not to be confused with self-worship or idolatry of a greater being or of a tuba or even a greater devotion to nothing. Or not.

I Love Me

I Love Me

WEIRE2

I Think

Sometimes people don’t even realize what they are doing.  They are so wound up that they become insensitive to what is actually going on around them.  They think evil is at work and they become so offensive (in a blindly stupid sort of way) that they begin to produce actual evil themselves.  They have been “hooked” by Satan.  Or Facebook.  Same thing.

Twitter to the Rescue!

Every kid on this city block has two facebook identities.  And one of them is a cop.  The other one has one leg missing (not a military vet but a bassoon player who fell out of the 3rd floor dorm window) and plays Angry Birds at least 3 hours every day.  Twitter Users – on the other hand – are flying across the country to a gig in a small town of sheep-herders and/or riding in a helicopter in Iraq with Lance Armstrong.

There is a big difference.

Tim Dick

Tim Dick

Facebook users get too narrow.  They think they are on a virtual soapbox that a Liberal Mayor from AnyTown Democrat USA proclaimed as Rainbow Required Reading Month has etched into your psyche and sealed it with hummus.  I see a trail of cashew crumbs (ignored by fuzzy cats) leading to a calcified pet drinking fountain next to the refrigerator – and next to that a stack of Sunday inserts dating back to The Hindenberg.  Focus.  Come on, people.

I really don’t care about your opinions because they are so beautifully displayed like a magical desktop publishing program from AOL using technology developed by Xerox in 1977.  Give it up. There are real IT people making real advances in computer wizardry who have to re-certify their skills every 6 months let alone try to get Pagemaker to run on X-Box.  Shut Up!

I'm a freaking Genius

I’m a freaking Genius

You know the ones.  They are smarter than you are because they listen to NPR.  They don’t drink alcohol.  Ever.  They are so broad-minded that they check only Snopes to form the basis of their doctoral dissertation and they have just re-modeled their kitchen to the tune of $16,000 and they don’t  cook but 4 times a year.  Gluten free.

It is a real disorder.  And 99% of you nut cases don't have it!

It is a real disorder. And 99% of you nut cases don’t have it!

Get a Grip on Yourself

If a person decides to engage in a creative writing experiment – a new form of entertainment which I will term “TXT Comedy” for lack of a better acronym (for now) – and it produces reactions like the threats of a SWAT Team coming to your house while you are away on vacation  – it is not because you are stupid, it is because you have placed your mind somewhere the sun does not shine.

Help Is Available

Please Remember God Loves You.  Whether you believe in Him or not – that is your freedom of choice and I won’t try to force legislation to make you bake me a Masonic birthday cake with swastikas on it – and enjoy Life and Be Yourself.  Don’t judge others.  And eat a balanced diet of grains that will return your bowel movements to normal and help divert your attention away from me for a bit.

**Apologies to my high school teacher buddy John Wieck (wherever you are) who was not the guy responsible for making so many of my graduating classmates’ homosexual in later life.  I’m okay with that.  Just ask Paco at Grand Coney.

 

POTUS Blames Staples for Corporate Resistance to Obamacare

President Obama singled out office supply giant Staples Inc. as undercutting his healthcare reform law and said large corporations should not use the health insurance issue as an excuse for cutting wages, the news website BuzzFeed reported.

Staples did it

  • “It’s one thing when you’ve got a mom-and-pop store who can’t afford to provide paid sick leave or health insurance or minimum wage to workers  but when I hear large corporations that make billions of dollars in profits trying to blame our interest in providing health insurance as an excuse for cutting back workers’ wages, shame on them,” Obama said in an interview with BuzzFeed.
  • The Affordable Care Act requires companies with more than 50 employees to pay for health insurance for people who work 30 hours a week or more. Reuters has reported that some businesses are keeping staffing numbers below 50 or cutting the work week to less than 30 hours to avoid providing employee health insurance.
  • Staples, the No. 1 U.S. office supplies retailer, has told its employees not to work more than 25 hours per week, according to a recent Buzzfeed report.
  • But Obama’s characterization of the company did not sit well with the company that provides thousands of jobs to Americans.
  • “Unfortunately, the president appears not to have all the facts,” Mark Cautela Sr., the Public Relations Manager for Staples said in a statement to Breitbart News. “The initial story was misleading as our policy regarding part-time employees is more than a decade old. It predates the Affordable Care Act by several years.”
  • According to the survey by the American Health Policy Institute, the cost of the new healthcare law for large companies ranges from $4,800 to $5,900 per employee, in addition to the millions of dollars in overhead costs. The healthcare law adds mandates and fees and other regulatory burdens that will cost employers anywhere from $163 million and $200 million in 2016, four percent more than what they are currently paying. By 2023, that increase will jump to eight percent.
  • According to a survey by Morgan Stanley, premium rates have risen substantially. Firms renewing small group insurance in 2014 saw an 11 percent premium hike. For firms with coverage through BlueCross, the premium increase was almost 16 percent.
  • Premium increases were much higher in some states than others. Premiums for small group policies renewing in 2014 increased 66 percent in Pennsylvania, 37 percent in California and 34 percent in Indiana. Washington saw premiums rise by an astounding 588 percent.

Remember the Un-Cola? How About The Un-Anything?

Just What Has America Turned Into?

It’s almost a cruel joke.  A Race to see who can get nowhere without doing anything about anything and taking credit for it.  But that’s not all!  How about a Celebration, too?!?

Major portions of text and references are from The NY Times here:

zero_mile_run

“Never underestimate people’s desire to skip the journey and go right to the finish line.”

Let’s not take anything away (double entendre intended) from this marvelous example of modern marketing.  A time when we nearly worship the act of doing nothing and getting a bigger paycheck for it than the Joneses next door.  And drive a new Escalade while you’re at it on the way to pick up your new food stamp card.

department of common sense

How about all that action we are taking in the Ukraine?  How about the re-authorization of the Ex-Im Bank – a/k/a Corporate Welfare Program wherein the US Government guarantees you will not fail or your money back (the taxpayer money we don’t have) ??

But Wait!!  There’s More!!

netneutral

Click image for link to Fight for the Future

You may have heard of Title XI.  The Internet Tax Freedom Act.  Public Law 105-277 enacted on 21 October 1998 under President Bill Clinton

We’re all winners.  That is The American Dream, isn’t it?   But we ARE doing something after all.  We’re thinking about taxing the internet.  The FCC will make a historic decision along with the data and analysis performed by existing private industry.  We are leaving this decision up to the (are you ready for this?) cable companies and providers to decide how much we are going to pay for MORE regulation and MORE for a S-L-O-W-E-R internet connection unless we sign on for a new “premium” package.  Absurd?  Is that not unlike allowing the cat inside the birdcage?

 comcast-logo-with-swastika
This writer lived in Germany over 10 years and can make one startling observation.  The digital media market – including internet, border-to-border telephone, satellite and digital DVB-T television cost only €19,99 per month for ALL SERVICES Unlimited.  Go Figure.

“All the fun, none of the commitment!”

Depending on one’s view, all of these issues, or races, are an existential comment on engagement and responsibility in America today; a critique or embrace of entitlement and self-importance; a celebration or rejection of couch-potato sloth; a chance for serious runners to shake off the midwinter doldrums with silly fun; or a sly enticement of non-runners, luring them to what may be the best part of a race — the after-party.

non_run_philly

“We wanted to prove that with no hard work, no perseverance and no discipline, anyone can be a winner,” said Dan Babeu, 40, of Levittown, Pa.  They shot the starter pistol – took one step and blew the whistle.  Everybody tied and became a winner.

non_run_philly_winner

Ayn Rand should be proud.  But she shrugged.