Sunday, October 30, 2011

The three gates to Occupy Wall Street: Lust , Anger and Greed

Picture this scene. You're standing across the street from a bank. You hear some commotion, and suddenly as a Police car screech's up in front and the officers jump out with guns drawn, several robbers come running out the doors - the two groups see each other, and begin shouting and waving their guns at each other.
Got that image?

Ok, now, if you were asked to describe what you were seeing, if you were asked to describe those two groups, would your first comment be anything remotely similar to this?
"Well, there are a number of very striking similarities between these two groups, both of them are very much involved with hurriedly running around in groups and yelling and waving their arms around in regards to financial matters, and that both are understandably concerned with correcting perceived wrongs."
What would you think of a reporter, if that was how they described these two groups activities outside of the bank? If you challenged them by saying,
"Wait... wait...wait... one of these groups is trying to take what belongs in the bank, and the other one is trying to the prevent the theft of another's property! One of these groups is deliberately using violence to get their way - there are HUGE differences between these two groups! How can you possibly compare them?!"
, and their response to you was that you should get past your ideological differences that you have with one of the groups, and pay more attention to their obvious similarities, and then continued to cite the fact that both groups made noise and waved their arms around about financial matters as being the most relevant characteristics with which to describe cops and robbers to everyone else listening.

What would you think of those reporters and politicians then?

Is that any different from how the press - and President Obama, - are currently relating the nature of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and Tea Party protesters?:
"On Tuesday, Obama said he understood "the frustrations being expressed in those protests," on Wall Street, noting that "in some ways, they're not that different from some of the protests that we saw coming from the Tea Party.""
Now I know the media is having a problem with analogies lately, so let me clarify, I am not comparing the two groups here, OWS and Tea Party, to bank robbers and policemen (that would be too rude a thing to do to bank robbers), but I am comparing that hypothetical person's reporting of the scene, with how the Press and media people are actually discussing, reporting and comparing the OWS & Tea Party movements.

Remember, the Freedom of the Press was specifically protected under our Constitution - because it was originally understood that the Press would not only concern itself with reporting to We The People on the objectives and relevant facts which are important to our lives and the state of the nation, but that they would also have a responsibility to question the statements of politicians and anyone else aspiring to political power, and yet it has, for the most part, analyzed these two groups... one, the
  • Tea Party, which has been nothing but peaceful over the course of a few years time
, and the other,
  • OWS, which has been violent and law breaking since their very first week
, and declared them to be similar, based upon something so insignificant and non-essential, as the fact that they are both protesting the state of the economy and their dissatisfaction with Politicians and (some) corporate behavior.

Aren't there a few other questions and issues that should be getting raised here?

Such as... oh I don't know, something like WHAT ARE THEY PROTESTING FOR?!?!?!?! Aren't the purposes and aims of the two groups of more relevance than the incidental fact that both came together in large numbers to wave signs and protest? There are at least a few contrasts that should be compared, aren't there? Such as the fact that, while the Tea Party was roused, in part, by the economy, and the greed of some of those involved, that it is not whythey've been protesting,
The Tea Party has been protesting for the need to restore the position of the Constitution to the American form of government - to reestablish the Rule of Law instead of the whims of impassioned men OWS is about tearing the entire government and system down, in order to satisfy the desires of impassioned men.
The Tea Party is marked by orderly protests OWS is disorder incarnate.
The Tea Party is about restoring the law OWS is founded on and through, violating the law by taking over occupying, and refusing to leave, public and private areas.
The Tea Party is protesting for Govt to return to its proper place and allow people the liberty to live their own lives OWS is entirely oriented around demanding favoritism and govt intrusion into peoples lives.
And the press - and President Obama - say there are many striking similarities because they are both protesting? How is that possible?

If you think this is just my bias, that I'm over-reacting, if you see OWS as simply a case of youth expressing high minded ideals, perhaps you should consider the comments made from a vantage point of an ocean away.

The UK's Daily Mail has been following the occupation closely, and says:
That the U.S. 'Occupy Wall Street' demonstrations are a protest movement is a false narrative played out by the press. To equate them to the Tea Party is a moral relativism that stands logic on its head. This is a mob and the goal is mob rule.
And yet our press and President, say they are similar. How can they possibly describe the flea-baggers (yuk-yuk!) as high-minded idealists?

Or maybe a better question might be why would they describe them in this way, and make the unwarranted comparisons that they do?

The Epitome of Greed
Here's a clue towards the answer; I nearly let out a whoop when Big Journalism’s Dana Loesch was commenting on the Republican debates on CNN last Tuesday night; after she noted that,
"Any movement that argues for a living wage regardless of whether you work or not is the epitome of greed."
I did a quick fist pump as I watched that the next morning (TIVO, gotta love it), accomplishing what my coffee was having a hard time with up to that point - waking me up. She was exactly right of course, the fevered desire for what you have not earned, the desire to possess, enjoy and revel in what you may or may not have any rightful claim to, simply because you want it, and wanting ever more of it is Greed. But that isn't what really woke me up, you see, the really interesting part was what came after Dana's comment.

I was looking forward to how the leftists on the panel would respond, or react, to that, because it's so blatantly true, I wondered would they try to minimize it? or deny it? or try to dismiss it?

Nope. They completely surprised me.

The camera immediately cut to Democrat operative Donna Brazille... who proceeded to have absolutely nothing to say about Dana's statement at all, not even in denial of it; instead, she spoke as if Dana had said nothing at all - it was of no concern to her - whatsoever.

That planted a question in my head that plagued me for the rest of the day.

What about greed?... or any other vice for that matter, what about that? Why is it that vice - which is practically on a storefront, plate glass window-shopping level of display in every photo or video of OWS - why is it of absolutely zero concern to nearly everyone? Media and protesters alike? And please, don't try telling me that Greed is of concern to them, that that is what Occupy Wall Street is all about, that 'greed is the whole purpose of what they are protesting about' - B. Friggin' S.!

It's a pretext, an excuse, nothing more.

Well, that's not quite right, it is something more than that - but only because they still think that it means something to you - that much they still grasp (and fear). And because it does still means something to most of you, it serves as a stone for them to hurl within your mind at their enemies.

But what does it mean to them? It is meaningless.
Maybe a definition is in order here:
Definition of 'Greed'
1. (n.) greed - excessive or rapacious desire, esp. for wealth or possessions; avarice; covetousness.

Etymology: (1600–10; back formation from greedy)
If Greed was actually a concern for any of these people, if they understood or cared about what it actually meant, and the harm it could inflict upon people, they would be watchful for any signs of it, and above all, in their own words, but in their own words, they have things like this to say,

  • Demand one... Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.
  • Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.
  • Demand four: Free college education.
, and so on. Now, if they were truly concerned about greed, they'd be on the lookout for it everywhere and I would think that they would, at the very least, call those demands before their public councils and give it at least a few 'Down Twnkles', wouldn't you? But the thought of Greed being in their midst, or of any of it's six deadly brothers and sisters tagging along with it, troubles their minds not at all.

Why not?

Back in the old days, as defined by the New York Times as being a time when people still cared about Right and Wrong and used Reason as a method for discovering what was True in order to improve your life, rather than simply as an effective weapon for defeating opponents in arguments, as the NYTimesian modernists claim; once upon a time it was common knowledge that there were a set of virtues and vices which sensible people attempted to either emulate or avoid, and it was common knowledge because it was taught in schools, taught in stories, taught in the media and even, for a time, even taught in the movies , and the appearance of unvirtuous behavior was vigorously shunned.

In case that fabled once upon a time was too long ago (or too far away in fly over country) for you to recall, the moral Virtues 'were':
courage, temperance, self-discipline, moderation, modesty, humility, generosity, friendliness, truthfulness, honesty and justice.
The moral vices included:
cowardice, self-indulgence, recklessness, wastefulness, greed, vanity, untruthfulness, dishonesty and injustice.
And those behaviors were cultivated, or denounced, because it was thought that habituating yourself to abiding by them made your life better for having done so.

Sanctimony aside, and without going into whether or not such an idyllic time ever really did, does or could, exist in this country, humor me a moment, put on your thinking cap and tell me which of these two sets of pictures do you see as being more strongly representative of the virtues, and which of the vices?




Why do you suppose that is?

On One Hand Or The Other - Reaching for the Apple or the Worm?
Those Cardinal Virtues, Temperance, Courage Justice and Prudence, and the Christian ones that followed, Hope, Faith and Charity, were considered to be the behaviors, which, if developed into habits - or ignored - would define your fate, "Character is Destiny!" sending you towards either the Light or towards the Dark Side.

There was a time (and IS a time, depending upon where you mark it) when manners were observed, peoples rights were respected, and 'Please and Thank you' were fighting words if not spoken, because the virtues, and the manners which follow from them, were taught, learned, respected, and expected, and in the world today, the people most likely to remember and reflect those ideals, will be found in conservative circles, which is what the Tea Party draws most of its people from, and so not surprisingly, for those who don't mind engaging in some thought, pictures from Tea Parties are going to tend to reflect those values.

On the other hand, there's a story going around today, that conservatives flinch more at writhing maggots, than leftists do.

Why would that be? Why do you think it might be? I haven't bothered to look too far into it, but if their press release is representative of their findings, they are laughably, and predictably, worthless:
"“The proper interpretation of the findings (in the current study) is not that biology causes politics or that politics causes biology,” the authors write, “but that certain political orientations at some unspecified point become housed in our biology, with meaningful political consequences.”

Acceptance of the role of involuntary physiological responses is not easy for many, however: “Most are proud of their political orientations, believe them to be rational responses to the world around them, and are reluctant to concede that subconscious predispositions play any role in shaping them,” they write."
Taking this at face value, that seems to me to be the confident proclamation of a smart idiot - someone with the bio-mechanical capability of being intelligent, but whose cultural and philosophical ignorance has rendered their judgments primitive baubles of ignorance.

This response which they are attempting to spin as biological in origin, Aristotle observed 2,500 years ago as being the type of unconscious, or 'habituated response' to be expected from a person who has habituated themselves towards virtuous practices,
"...men will be good or bad builders as a result of building well or badly. For if this were not so, there would have been no need of a teacher, but all men would have been born good or bad at their craft. This, then, is the case with the virtues also; by doing the acts that we do in our transactions with other men we become just or unjust, and by doing the acts that we do in the presence of danger, and being habituated to feel fear or confidence, we become brave or cowardly. The same is true of appetites and feelings of anger; some men become temperate and good-tempered, others self-indulgent and irascible, by behaving in one way or the other in the appropriate circumstances. Thus, in one word, states of character arise out of like activities. This is why the activities we exhibit must be of a certain kind; it is because the states of character correspond to the differences between these. It makes no small difference, then, whether we form habits of one kind or of another from our very youth; it makes a very great difference, or rather all the difference."
, and it is the entirely predictable (except to a modernist who sees only division between mind and body rather than unity), and normal response, to be expected from them.
"...We must take as a sign of states of character the pleasure or pain that ensues on acts; for the man who abstains from bodily pleasures and delights in this very fact is temperate, while the man who is annoyed at it is self-indulgent, and he who stands his ground against things that are terrible and delights in this or at least is not pained is brave, while the man who is pained is a coward. For moral excellence is concerned with pleasures and pains; it is on account of the pleasure that we do bad things, and on account of the pain that we abstain from noble ones. Hence we ought to have been brought up in a particular way from our very youth, as Plato says, so as both to delight in and to be pained by the things that we ought; for this is the right education...."
The absence of that outward response, the flinch, is the reflections of the absence of those virtues within, the absence of 'Right Education'.
Because Virtues presume an outlook, they are integrated, they extend through habits of virtue and courtesy, deep into your respect for what is Good and what is True, and into your appreciation of what is Beautiful. And when neglected, such as with bad manners, or on being lied to, or on being presented with an aesthetic assault (ugliness), you mentally and even physically, flinch.

Practicing those virtues consistently is not easy, and it is certainly not something that can be done unthinkingly, it takes the effort of focused thought followed by the physical effort of transforming your thoughts into actions, it requires a mindful adherence to Truth over emotion, Judgment over passion, logic over demagoguery, in order to come to those conclusions which were considered, in our Founding Fathers era, to be the very height of Liberal Thinking - those being the Free Market, living virtuous lives and seeking equal Justice for all - and not to be practiced in order to receive a reward but because it is right to behave that way; though of course there is a real reward for living in that way, as they well knew, you find that you are living a life worth living, one lived in pursuit of happiness.

But on the other (anti-Western civilization) hand... not practicing them leads you to sssuch a state of mental unfitness, that you could easily find yourself spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on expensive and detailed scientific studies, and yet come to entirely worthless conclusions, as with the intellectual flinch above. And that IS what it was, for just as conservatives flinch at ugliness, the leftist materialist flinches at the possibility of the Good, the Beautiful and the True... and that which habituates you towards respecting the same - Virtue.

Without it, you are lost in a rudderless, relativistic, nausea, as Sartes put it, and as OWS is demonstrating it in cities across our land, and around the world. The squallor of their encampments, is a demonstration of the leftist lack of possessing a flinch. It is ugly, but they don't seem to know it... why do you suppose that is? And that being the case, it's also not too surprising that what follows them is filth, open defecation, and rats and riots.

I suppose that if the old saw about cleanliness being next to Godliness is in any way true... it probably tells us more about what OWS truly is, than anything else I could say.

Let me try putting it this way, letting a few pictures tell a few thousand words: The person accustomed to expect
the imagery of the left,

... have very different reactions to this sort of imagery, whether it be visual such as this, or the imagery of the right,

Whatever....

OMG!(Flinch)
Get the picture?

And the same goes with it's equivalent in manners, dress, music, politics, etc, etc, etc. and it usually comes with heaping helpings of stimulation, adrenaline rush, endorphins, etc, right? But seriously, which of the above do you associate with the politics of the left, and which with the politics of the right?

You know the answer.

Right?

The lure of the flinchless path, is that it appears to be easy, self satisfying, usually makes an outward show to startle, simply 'striking a pose' is enough to seem rebellious... even if you've no idea what you are rebelling against... at least it requires no effortful thought in order to come to the sorts of conclusions which follow from emotional reactions, rather than through substantiated and careful, principled reflection; the tugs of the bleeding heart and the 'fairness' of an issue require of the 'thinker' only that they follow the easiest and self satisfying path of reactions, without concern for probable or actual results.

Likewise, to let run your anger and outrage lead your actions in pursuit of those ends, is the simplest course of all - positions, rather than principles, action rather than reflection.

We can't wait! is one that fits in well with it's siren song.

Isn't their reaction against 'corporate greed!' a sort of a flinch? No, I don't think so, it is less a recoiling from disorder, ugliness and falsehood, and more a pricked desire, a self indulgent craving to have and to take, and a response at not being able to follow through with what they want to do - which is to take what they want. Aristotle again,
"Self-indulgence is more like a voluntary state than cowardice. For the former is actuated by pleasure, the latter by pain, of which the one is to be chosen and the other to be avoided; and pain upsets and destroys the nature of the person who feels it, while pleasure does nothing of the sort. Therefore self-indulgence is more voluntary. Hence also it is more a matter of reproach; for it is easier to become accustomed to its objects, since there are many things of this sort in life, and the process of habituation to them is free from danger, while with terrible objects the reverse is the case. But cowardice would seem to be voluntary in a different degree from its particular manifestations; for it is itself painless, but in these we are upset by pain, so that we even throw down our arms and disgrace ourselves in other ways; hence our acts are even thought to be done under compulsion. For the self-indulgent man, on the other hand, the particular acts are voluntary (for he does them with craving and desire), but the whole state is less so; for no one craves to be self-indulgent."

The Path to the Dark Side, was, is, Yoda might say, easy, more enticing. In the Founders era, not having the benefit of Yoda, they were taken with the Choice of Hercules, where he had to choose between the lure of sultry pleasure, and the sober modesty of fair Virtue.

But here I'll stray form the Western path, which usually calls heavily on Western classics, with Aristotle, Aquinas and the like, just to show that they were not alone in their understanding of the importance of Virtue, and there is a line from the Bhagahvad Gita which nails the issue quite well:


"Hercules is depicted with two women flanking him, who represent the opposite destinies which the life could reserve him: on the left the Virtue is calling him to the hardest path leading to glory through hardship, while the second, the Pleasure, the easier path, is enticing him to the vice."
"Hell has three gates: lust, anger, and greed"
Scroll back up to those pictures above, doesn't that look about right? Look again, but this time while keeping in mind what a fellow named Kesava Kasmiri had to say about these three gates,
"Lord Krishna has now ended descriptions of the basic details of the nature and characteristics of the demoniac. Now He strongly advises by any means to avoid the triple threat of lust, greed and anger which is the underlying root cause of all demoniac vices and evils. As soon as lust, greed and anger are abandoned all other vices and evils dissolve and dissapate. Birth in hellish existences has three doors in the form of the door of lust, the door of greed and the door of anger. As soon as anyone enters into any one of these three doors they become void of discrimination and their mind becomes apprehended and controlled by the senses. This causes complete chaos and utter ruin to any human being, blocking access to their higher nature and totally obscuring the consciousness of the atma or immortal soul which leads to moksa or liberation from material existence. The three doorways of lust, greed and anger causes one to perform such sinful and abominable activities that damnation is the only result and leads a human being directly to hell to suffer immensely for their sinful inequities. Hence one should be extremely vigilant to avoid these three doors and keep them far away at a safe distance."

, any one of those three gates function as an entryway to hell itself.
Again, this does not require any particular religious affiliation, or any religious belief at all for that matter, in order to find the wisdom in it; it is every bit as significant when looked at from a secular, psychological, point of view, as from a religious one; hell is what awaits you here and now in your own heart and mind and in the life you create for yourself, once you allow yourself to pass through these doors and become committed to traveling down that road.

Is it really that surprising that there is little else on display with the Occupy Wall Street leaders and their messages, than what you would expect to find on passing through one or all of those three gates?

This is not a simple rhetorical point I'm making or attempting to score against 'the left', this is a consequential issue and worth looking little closer at and comparing further - shall we?

Who's that knocking on the door
How do these two groups approach these three doors, do they knock? Do they enter? Lets look behind -
Door #1: Lust - seriously? Lust is not a keyword that is typically associated with the Tea Party, is it? Not that there aren't some gorgeous women in the Tea Party, but lust isn't what draws them there; defending their families is, which owes more to courage, than lust.

What about the OWS crowd? You mean other than their parading around naked and having sex under tarps in public parks, exposing themselves to minors and multiple rapes? Really??

Door #2: Anger Hmmm, welll... I can see how someone could try to make an argument that anger is on display at Tea Party events, particularly during the early ones when facing clueless and condescending politico's telling us there was no need to read the bill before passing it. But IMHO, I'd say that had far more to do with being understandably indignant, than with ungovernable anger.

Compare that to the OWS's Look at the OWS crowds, look at their dress, look at their signs, look at their manner, it SCREAMS anger and , violence , which isn't confined to the supposed political purpose of their gathering. And it is spreading now, not surprisingly, to fighting even amongst themselves,
"Fights are erupting among Occupy Wall Street protesters, so much so that one corner of Zuccotti Park has emerged where protesters say they won't go for fear of their safety, the New York Daily News is reporting.

Police officers also have been warned of "dangerous instruments" being concealed in cardboard tubing, the News says it has been told by unidentified police sources."
Theirs is not an anger that follows from a perceived injustice, but from an unreasoning grudge against reality in general.

The Tea Party people may be in some sense angry, but they are not at levels approaching frothing at the mouth, letting dogs loose on reporters or hurling plates, rocks and paint at the police - Tea Partiers are indignant in the face of real offences, and perceived evils, but they don't participate in them.


Issues Tea Party Occupy Wall Street

Coherent statement of principles

.................

Public Nudity

Public Sex

Rape

.................

Anger

Violence

Riot

.................

Filth

Theft

Child abuse

Sedition



Yep

.................


Nope

Hell Nope

Nope

.................

Some

Nope

Nope

.................

Nope

Nope

Nope

Nope




Hell Nope

.................


Yep

Yep

Yep and Yep

.................

Yep

Yep

Yep

.................

Yep

Yep

Yep

Yep


Door #3: Greed. Spot me the greed in the Tea Party movement, I'll wait.

No, wanting to keep what is yours, what you've earned, is NOT greed, that comes from a sense of Justice - now we could argue about whether they've judged correctly or not, and IMHO they have, but you can't seriously argue that they are coming from a motivation of Greed.
The OWS however, is incessant in their demands for what is not theirs ("...regardless of employment..." and "...Free college education...") the demands for free wages, free education, forgiven loans, gimmee, gimmee, gimmee more! Gimme what I want without my having to earn it... is a greed that is even more naked than their lust.
And this isn't simply confined to the OWS, but to those favoring them, including our President who feeds it with sympathy and promises of using his executive power to enable students to 'cut out the middle-man' to misuse his power as president to refinance their loans, is, fittingly, shameless demagoguery without even the virtue of a fig leaf.

And there is also a greed for the moral standing which the Tea Party has - even in the face of three years of perpetual assault by the media - whenever they spoke of the Tea Party and its peaceful protests and demonstrations, it was either in mockery or while casting them as dangerous threats to the republic - Nancy Pelosi's quavering voiced "I've heard this rhetoric before", and yet they've maintained their respectable character. Don't laugh, the proof is in what the media and talking heads are attempting to do, and that is attempting to take that respectability, unearned, and associate it with their favorites in the OWS, which is what they are doing when they attempt to say the OWS is 'just like the Tea Party'.

This attempt to praise the OWS as being a movement driven by youthful virtue and noble ideals, is a farce, and their claims to be 'speaking truth to power' has passed through the gates of Lust, Anger and Greed and is now coming out as 'mouthing any available pretext for exerting violent power', which is why they ignore the reality in favor of their regurgitated virtual reality.

Virtual Virtues
The very visible fact is that there is far more lust, greed and anger to be seen in abundance, reflected in just one of the OWS demonstrations, than in all of the Tea Party's parties over the entire last three years.

Now, of course, there's little likelihood of a drive by sainting occurring within the Tea Party, and I wouldn't dream of painting any of us as being in any way better than who we are - people who are trying to live normal lives - but you cannot seriously say that you can see any resemblance between the Tea Party protesters and those of Occupy Wall Street! Neither is there any similarity in the motives or the ideals which lay behind them.

What Virtue which some of them may have held before, has passed through the three doors of their encampment, and come out the other side as vice, and any patina of virtue is only virtual.

In many ways, and often deliberately, our entire culture has been passed through these three doors, and in certain circles, there are entire industries, such as the entertainment, politics and educational industries, that have taken the long march through all three of them in a wild parade.
But while they have walked through, they cannot drag you with them without your consent, and if you, you, are still able to conceive of vice as a bad thing, then ask yourself, does it not seem likely to you that a group of people, gathered together under circumstances which are ungoverned by the normal rules of society, a group which is openly practicing some vices, and not just openly, but boastfully, does it seem likely to you that one or two vices are going to remain in compartmentalized isolation amongst the people sprawled about so closely under such minimal standards of behavior?

Are their practices likely to stop with only one or two? Really? I mean, vice is like the Lays Potato Chips of human behavior... you can't have only one. If you've had any experience with being human, you've got to know that it is far more likely that the vices you openly indulge in, not to mention the even more enticing and appealing ones, are going to be exercised in gleeful concert with their friends, you know, the other Seven Deadlies, right?

We've already passed through the gates of lust, anger and greed... do you really think that this behavior is going to stop there? What does it have to say for those people who didn't see this coming? Are those really the people you want as your leaders? As your educators? Seriously?
It used to be that vice was unquestionably considered to be something objectionable, especially if you were accused of engaging in one or more vices. Can you really watch what they are demonstrating in OWS, and preaching from the White house, and still say that the left believes vice to be a bad thing? Something that is worthy of being denounced in and of itself?

It used to be socially unacceptable to be accused of such behavior... there were morals clauses in contracts that were actually enforced. Today, with the public parade that has led us through violations of political morals clauses which were the spectacles of Nixon, Clinton, Gore, Weiner... the morals clauses linger on as little more than a joke, or as a convenient loophole to cancel a contract you no longer want to honor.

In today's society, in our popular culture, it has long been not only acceptable to indulge in the vices, but it has become popular to do so. And our popular culture has passed through the gates of lust, anger and greed and brought us to a state of transgendered classroom instruction... a state where public officials no longer feeling compelled to either present themselves as virtuous or to distance themselves from vice, or to worry about how some of their supporters so clearly associated with vice that it is not only no longer an issue, and their politicians such as Pelosi & Obama are attempting to 'reach out' to them. reflecting the ailing heart of the republic.

Getting to Here from There... one gate at a time... where will we be Tomorrow?
Where did this come from, how did they not learn better? Or maybe the better question, is how did they learn about anything else being better?

The fact that the popular media and pundits deliberately overlook Greed, as did Brazille, or any of the other vices so prevalent amongst the OWS, screams out that neither this, nor any other vice, is of enough concern for them to even bother with denying.

While it may very well serve as a stone for them to throw at their opponents, they sure as heck don't treat it as kryptonite, and that shows more about what they are about, than anything else. For OWS Greed is actually a value to them, as a tool or a weapon, they've no concern for the harm it may pose to either themselves or to society - it's but a means to advance their own ends.

Simple political partisanship is not enough to explain how these groups respective virtues and vices are obscured, excused or entirely dispensed with, in any consideration of OWS, and that brings us to a very revealing question.
Q: When comparing the Tea Party with OWS, why are their stated (and demonstrated) principles, purposes and practices, not the primary issues being discussed in comparisons between the two groups of protesters?
A: Because they are of no concern to either OWS, or those reporting on, or approving of, them.
It is because Principles & Practices, Virtues & Vices, are of no importance to them, that the pundits are able to say that they do see a resemblance between the Tea Party protesters and those of Occupy Wall Street.

This is a huge confession - and a significant revelation - for them, Policemen and Bank Robbers are similar because they do both yell and wave guns around in front of banks!

The key matter that does distinguish them - Virtue and Vice - is not in their world view. If Che' Guevara is thought of as a mass murder, then you could not possibly dream of wearing him on your T-Shirt. But... if that doesn't rate in your list of 'priorities', in the way that political revolution does... it's not a problem; if you can set Virtue and Vice aside, then the murderer is virtually transformed into a saint.

How has that been accomplished? I've already gone too long with this post, and I have gone into the details of what has happened to our schools in other posts, so I'll just point out the fact that the warning of where we were headed - which is where we find ourselves today - was first raised, not in the 1950's, but the 1920's... and even that was over sixty years too late.

Those Cassandra calls and missed warnings, did far worse than simply open us up for a military attack such as we suffered at Pearl Harbor, they opend us up for embracing a moral and intellectual attack upon our true heart and soul, our Virtues, which, as our Founders did their best to alert us, are our true strength and vulnerability, that Virtue is what made us Americans in the first place, and without which, we lose our exceptionalism.

Being a nation of ideas, which America always was, and still is today, the real battles we have been engaged in, the real war we've been losing, has been an intellectual and a spiritual one. Because of our failure to heed their warnings, we've been steadily losing the war most of us never even realized that we've been engaged in, and we've been losing it because of our inattention to it.

The first wave began with the philosophy of the 18th century, with little opposition to the philosophies of Rousseau, Kant and Hegel, they gained beachheads in our own turncoat philosophers of Pierce, William James and John Dewey and their Delta Force of Pragmatism. That gave us the educators of the 19th century, and their triumph delivered us up to incessant loss of territory we've yielded up through the daily assault in the classrooms.

From those new launching platforms we suffered through the cultural bombing runs of the hippies in the 1960's, which softened us up for the moral living room invasion, utilizing the brilliantly camouflaged landing craft vehicles such as M*A*S*H throughout the 1970's, and then the ever advancing boots on the ground that has been led by the likes of MTV, moving implacably forward in a steadily descending spiral of depravity from the 1980's down to today.

The popular culture of the 20th and 21st centuries has left us utterly dazed and confused. Without reinforcements, without ammunition, without the intelectual-military intelligence so necessary to track and counter attack the enemy, we have been overrun in so many quarters that we see many of our fellow Americans are entirely unaware of their position behind enemy lines; they are unimpressed and unconcerned about charges of vice - in fact they have become traits that are openly admired and pursued, and in doing so they give real material aid and comfort to the enemy.

Far worse than Pearl Harbor in 1941, this continuous assault has led us not only to 9/11 in 2001, but has so much more devastating than even the twin towers falling, they've leveled our moral defenses to the point that a Mosque is being openly built directly around the corner from Ground Zero, here in 2011 - this goes so far beyond any physical equivalent of 'they sunk my battleship', that it ain't funny.

The Alamo or Midway - Time will tell
If you want to know how so many of our fellows can stare at Occupy Wall Street and express no shock or surprise, you might get a glimpse of enemy territory with the fact that this guy, Bill Ayers, a terrorist, has been an influential teacher, a very popular teach TO teachers, across the nation, for decades.
“I think you should use your brilliance, your humor, your wisdom, your body to dramatize the violence that exists. But we do not live in a neutral — not when there’s a trillion dollar military budget — the biggest in the world, not when they’re recruiting kids to be in the service, not when every athletic event begins with guns and marching…that‘s a violent culture and that’s where we live…”
And with a flourish of lefty irony, he added,
"Somebody like Barack Obama who drone strikes American citizens is saying ‘I want you all to be non-violent.’ Well, I want you to be non-violent,”
Isn't that clever? What do you suppose he wanted kids to learn from that? Could it be that they've already learned it? A 'If you think that's violence, I'll show you violence!' And here we were all under the impression that our schools have been failing... apparently, not so much.

It is ugly.

This Occupy Wall Street movement is not noble, this is not inspiring, this is not in anyway shape or form, Good.

When the press lauds these grubby vandals and their 'youthful idealism' they aren't talking about real Virtues, but only virtual ones. Careful looking at the man behind the curtain. Occupy Wall Street is ugly, mean, filthy, cowardly, self-indulgent, reckless, wasteful, greedy, vain, lustful, untruthful, dishonest and unjust.

But other than that....

1 comment:

Matthew Casey Smallwood said...

Van, you may want to look at some of Phillip Rieff's work, including The Second Death, & Triumph of the Therapeutic.