Friday, April 17, 2020

Virtue Signalling and the viral Banality of Evil

Hannah Arendt was a political philosopher in 1930's Germany, was briefly imprisoned by the Gestapo, released and fled, eventually, to America, where in 1961 she was reporting for the New Yorker magazine on the Nazi war crimes trial of Adolph Eichmann. Eichmann had helped in devising and ordering the enslavement and slaughter of millions of Jews, Slavs, Gypsies and others, yet as the trial progressed, she found herself perplexed. She'd come expecting to witness the unmasking and comeuppance of a monster, but he didn't look like a monster, and he didn't act or speak like a monster, and his defense wasn't that of a zealously demonic Nazi, but only "I was just following orders." The most frightening thing about him was that he looked and spoke like an everyday average person, and a boring one at that. Eventually Arendt hit on a phrase to describe what she was witnessing, and it rang shockingly true: "the banality of evil'.

Along those lines, what worries me about our world today, is similar to what's struck me as being a central flaw in the last 65 years of our efforts to ensure that something like the rise of Nazism & the Holocaust is 'Never Again!' allowed to happen, and that flaw is that we assume that to do battle that form of evil, we need to steel ourselves for physical battle. We publicly occupy ourselves with looking high & low for menacing monsters to expose and do heroic battle with, and so are missing out on the darkest lesson of recent history, which is that the monsters we need to look for those that are lurking within the mundane ideas that people unthinkingly populate their everyday thoughts with. Thoughts we tend to think of either as not being worth our time to give much thought to, or more likely, thoughts whose catchphrases we thoughtlessly nod along to as being normal, boring even, and we do so because they provide us with a Politically Comfortable signal for dealing with controversial issues that we really don't want to trouble ourselves over. So we repeat, or nod along with these thoughts, memes and comments, in order to avoid being drawn into the everyday controversies that threaten to disturb our daily distractions. The popular words, slogans & rhythmic phrases, attitudes & postures, slip so easily into our minds and provide us cover by nodding along with them, and we take not a little bit of pleasure in basking in the pretense that they are 'the right thing!' to believe and support, and in echoing them, we get to feel 'admirable' on the cheap.

The problem is, that these posturings are like the facades of old movie sets. There's nothing of what they appear to be, behind them, only poles & wires propping them up for appearances sake. There's no there there - except... in the popularity which we contribute to, and enhance the banality's authority over our approval each time we absentmindedly nod along with them on  subjects we are too bored by to give any real thought to.

Our dictionaries define Banality as:
"the fact or condition of being banal; unoriginality.
"there is an essential banality to the story he tells"
triteness · platitudinousness · vapidity · pedestrianism · conventionality · predictability · staleness · unimaginativeness · lack of originality · lack of inspiration · prosaicness · dullness · ordinariness · corniness
something that is banal.
"the banalities of contemporary celebrity culture""
Another more modern synonym I'd suggest for Banality, would be those predictable, trite repetitions of vapid platitudes that are so lacking in inspiration, yet they unfailingly rally our communal recognition of their 'rightness' and provide pedestrian cover for a stale escape from dealing with issues that we'd rather not think too much about, AKA: Virtue Signalling, and like the actual virus plaguing us at the moment, those who are entirely unaware of the infection they carry, spread it to everyone within range of their mindless signalling.

The really frightening thing about the 'banality of evil', and what it reveals about ourselves and the history of totalitarianism that has claimed 100 million lives over the last century, is how easy it is to get people to cheaply nod their heads in agreement to its phrases, even getting us to contribute a posturing 'Yeah!' when we're amongst a crowd listening to a speaker (and watching each other for signs of ideological purity). And under the cover of being someone who really cares about the banal phrases of: "All lives matter!", "#MeToo!", "A living wage!", "Save the Planet!", "Free Trade!" "Women's rights!", "in liberty!", it is precisely the absence of thought which such phrases promote, that permits real evil to travel amongst and between us, lets it seep into the air, into the airwaves, and into us, and does so with our enthusiastic and Politically Comfortable approval.

A friend, a really nice, kind, helpful guy, is, in his politics, a hard Leftist. He recently sent me and a number of others a video which apparently had gotten his head to nodding, perhaps even with a 'Yeah!', or maybe an 'Ooh! Burn!'. I don't know what he was thinking about it for sure, you see, because he doesn't really remember listening to the video, and when I asked if he agreed with its message, he said "Well if I forwarded it, I must have, but I don't really remember". Almost as if it was too banal to recall.

My friend may not remember much about the video, however from the discussions we've had in the past, I've little doubt that he thought this videogram of 'Virtue Signalling, titled "A message to Republicans", was just the sorta zinger that, like a late night comedian's punchline, would be sure to put 'The Right' in their place.

This 'Message' comes from a documentary director & TedX speaker, named Matthew Cooke. I'm going to quote the entire message in full in this post, and will try to limit my responses so as to fit between its paragraphs. It's been tough to do. It is packed full of the banality of evil (much of it indistinguishable from what Adolph Eichmann himself endorsed and promoted - the ideas, not the actions - as part of doing his job & following orders), and I've no doubt that my friend suspects nothing of that... but I also have no doubt that his memory is notched with comfortably correct reactions to its predictable posturings, so that he can effortlessly and delightedly peddle and promote its messages & digs, while having to do little more than smile and nod as the keywords skate across a surface whose deeper meanings go untouched and unexplored.

What that amounts to in fact, IMHO, is a kind of moral negligence, of the sort that I pray that no one ever has to answer for in a future courtroom, for future court observers to puzzle over.

Replying to 'A Message...'
Something particularly ironic, is that in every discussion my friend & I have had in the past, where he was willing to discuss a point in enough depth to get into the details, has always ended in revealing a number of flawed assumptions he'd held, and exposed contradictions in his stated beliefs (though as far as I know, without his ever modifying those beliefs). With that in mind, this 'Message's opening lines, are hugely ironic:

A 'Message' that's jam packed with the banality of evil
"This is a message to Republicans. You keep saying 'we want free stuff', and that government can't do anything right. So you need an education."
He seems so earnest, doesn't he? And personally, as Education at root means "To lead out", to free from the chains of falsehood and ignorance, I'm all ears. Unfortunately, after giving his message a thorough listening to, it turns out to be full of fine sounding ideological statements which are '...held for reasons which are not purely epistemic"'... meaning that he supports the positions he supports, because he likes those positions, and not because they are true (see my previous post on 'Ideology'). His words have no roots in reality and truth, signalling that his 'virtues' are little more than decorations for his feelings to emote around. I'll avoid going too deeply into most of this supposed 'education', and will simply try to point towards those roots in reality which his own words leave his message severed from. Of course, as always, if anyone would like to pursue any or all points further, I'll be more than happy to oblige in the comments.
"The microchip, the internet, GPS, Touchscreens, Space Travel - those are a few examples of world changing technology created by our government, or required massive financial support from our government. Now I paid for that with a third of my money in the form of taxes, but I didn't get a return, because all of our tech was just given away to private industries, then it was sold back to us so someone else could profit."
First of all, the govt is not an investment house, and what it purchases in products or services, doesn't in any way become the property of its non-existent investors (AKA: You). When you, or the Govt, hires someone to solve a problem for you, you don't own their service, and you don't own the products they produced in order to solve your problem for you. Second, as the rest of his 'message' will make clear, Matthew is deeply opposed to private for profit businesses, and especially to financiers - so where does he get off with complaining over not receiving the financial and property ownership benefits, which a private investor might expect to receive from risking their investment in a potential product or service? Third, the urge to lay claim to what you have no right to, is fundamentally a tyrannical one, and Matthew is nakedly advocating for brute force being used to punish good deeds.

Finally, his line about the microchip, the internet, GPS, Touchscreens, Space Travel, coming from government, is lifted almost verbatim from an economist (go figure) named Mariana Mazzucato. I'll spare you a deep dive into the details (if you're interested, more detailed rebuttals can be found in: an interview with her here, a commentary on that here & here, and an indepth analysis here), but there are a couple key points that need to be made. One, the development of those technologies came about as government was pursuing one of its legitimate purposes, defending the nation during the Cold War. The technologies in question were developed by private researchers (in and out of research colleges) which the govt contracted their services from, and to the extent it was controlled by the govt, for instance with the Arpanet, it was made to meet the limited purposes which Govt had asked for, and then promptly stagnated at that level. It was only as those 'products' were declassified, and private industry was permitted to utilize its concepts more freely, that their wider potential began to be realized in additional services and finally in the Internet and World Wide Web that we know and love today, a point which even Mazzucato acknowledges, as she attempts the economic holy grail of having her cake and eating it too. Additionally, the technology and the industry of 'space travel' had also stagnated under the control of NASA, and it was only once President Obama withdrew Govt from that occupation (yay!), that an actual market could be created and the *private sector* was finally able to enter it and attempt to innovate, especially visible with Scaled Composite's winning the XPrize, and even in the less ideal public/private usage of SpaceX & Bigelow Aerospace, etc., that it is finally beginning to take wings.
"That's what free stuff looks like."
No, that's what the benefits and profits that come from recognizing and protecting private property looks like, and none of it is, or was, free. In short, Govt didn't produce those items itself, and in those cases where any 'investment' was provided by it, neither it, nor you, have any claim on those innovations & patents, and to demand it after the fact is pure thuggery. The envious attempt to lay claim to their products, is the same mindset we see in rioters who break into stores during times of unrest to take all of the 'free stuff!' they see sitting there on the store owners shelves. That mindset of "Free Stuff! Take it!" is how socialists, communists, and other criminals think, and that is what criminality looks like.
"Am I supposed to pay money to breathe? Or access water or community or civilization or is that my natural right being born on the planet, because that's what economic rights mean. They mean I have a right to participate in the economy without having to be born into the Trump family or some other social predator's bloodline."
The air you breathe while walking around in this nation or any other, is naturally available to you without any assistance, and so it is free for the taking, and you, having the "inalienable" individual right as a human being to think and act, are free to breathe it in. The air you would need, OTOH, to breathe when diving a hundred feet under water, would have to be compressed into a canister, and fitted out in such a way that you could dive with it on your back, all of which requires the efforts and industry of others to produce and provide, and so, assuming that you respect their "inalienable" individual right as human beings, to think and act, then and only then are they free to produce it for you, and you are free to purchase it from them, should you wish to enjoy scuba diving.

Similarly, the water you drink from a stream out in the wilderness, isn't produced or packaged by others, and so it is free for you to drink (best to pray that a dead animal isn't lying in the water just up stream from you). BTW, should you choose to act and fill your canteen with that free water, by your thought & actions, you've transformed that water from a think of nature, and it becomes your property. The water that you receive filtered, cleaned, put into pipes and transmitted to your faucet, requires the efforts and industry of others, and that water is not free, and should be paid for. For you to demand that their services must be given to you for 'free', is to demand that other people are to be forced to serve you, which, of course, is best described by a word that Democrats have historically been very familiar with: Slavery.

Those, BTW, are not 'economic rights' - there is no such thing as that stolen concept - those are individual rights, which are inherent in the nature of being human. Before there can be a Free Market, and before there can be an Economy worthy of the name, there must first come a widespread respect for each person's right to think and act, and a respect for the property that is subsequently created from that, which is what the Rule of Law is properly meant to serve. When the people formally agree to devise and abide by a fair system of rules, Law, to uphold and defend everyone's rights, while providing a means for reasonably resolving any apparent conflicts & disputes between each other's claims, then " secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...", that is how a people comes to live in a state of Liberty, a state where men can reasonably expect to deal with their fellows, even in the midst of heated disagreements, by means of known rules of methodical reasoning, rather than by intimidation and brute force. Participating in the formulating of those laws and the administration of them; laws that are dedicated to upholding and preserving the individual rights of every citizen equally before the law, regardless of whether a person is rich or poor, of one color or another, popular or unpopular, in the majority or minority, that is what a Constitutional Representative Republican Government is, and means. How well or poorly such a system as that is put into rational practice, is what an economy results from - and never the other way around. There is no 'economic right' that precedes such a system as that, and there is no 'economic right' that can be added to such a system, without detracting from it, and every effort, whether Socialistic, or Libertarian 'anarcho-capitalist', which denies such a system as that, is promoting a system for the enslavement of its people, by sealing them off from those rights and the means of securing them.
So now I'm going to teach you another word: Democracy.
If you read ahead, you'll discover that Matthew never actually bothers with defining what he means by that word (which would be the first step he'd take, if 'teaching' was of more interest to him than posturing for appearance's sake) - he only brays about the goodies he'd like to see being seized through it - so I suppose it's left to me to teach you what the word 'Democracy' actually means.
1a: government by the people
especially : rule of the majority
, and as Dr. Johnson's 1755 dictionary noted for our Founder's time, Democracy meant that:
The majority having the whole power of the community, may employ all that power in making laws, and executing those laws; and there the form of the government is a perfect democracy. Locke.
Democracy means the rule of the majority. A Democracy cares nothing for individual rights, or for property, or for what is Right or Wrong, it cares only for pleasing what most excites the passions of the majority, today, which may very well change on the next day. In Thucydides "The Peloponnesian War", which once was a central book in any American's education, the reality of what Democracy actually means was clearly understood through lessons of history on the original Democracy of Athens, where in Imperial Athens (oh, yeah, in case your textbooks left that out, Democracy historically - from its very start - tends towards Imperialism), on one day 'The People!' democratically condemned the male population of the entire city of Mytilene to death, and then on the next day they changed their minds and sent another ship to try and stop them from being slaughtered, which, fortunately, arrived just in time (no lesson learned though, as a few years latter they followed through on that with another city). That's true Democracy in action. What Democracy means in practice, without the additional representative and constitutional restrictions of Constitutional Republican government, true Democracy means authorized violence, theft and murder on the scale of entire populations, and our Founding Fathers thankfully did everything in their power to ensure that we would never become a true Democracy.
Wannabe mobsters, they love saying the government is bad at everything. When the government is ruled by the people, it's called our voice, so it's not bad, and you're not going to silence our voice, and whether it's the oil industry, or the criminal justice system, or the International Monetary Fund, or Facebook or Congress, or the presidency; if any organization becomes oppressive, and unaccountable, that's tyranny, and then when we make them accountable, that's Democracy.
Actually, mobsters do not care much for efficiency, because they thrive in murky, inefficient and unjust conditions; it's only honest people who do. Govt is bad at what it isn't fit to do, just as a screwdriver makes a poor hammer, and of course when using the wrong tool to do a job, the job is done poorly and inefficiently, which is exactly the sort of scenario where mobsters thrive - see Prohibition (that darling of progressivism, whose constitutional amendment was soon after repealed) for reference. To say that those in power have decreed what 'You The Woke' have 'voiced', that makes what was voiced, good? What if what their Democratic voice demanded, was that Socrates should be put to death because his questions annoyed 'You The Woke' (and lacking those protections in our Constitution, they could, and did, and will again if allowed to)... did that 'voice!' of Democracy make his murder 'good'? Even eight year old's see the problem with that, Matthew's an adult, what is wrong with you? Unfortunately the problem is that banality doesn't promote thoughtfulness, it promotes posturing, aka: Virtue Signaling, and in the long run that costs lives.

As just mentioned, when power is wielded by the numbers of the majority alone, and without the restraints of reasoned thought whose judgments are limited under systems of good law, that is bad, and as history has shown over and over, it quickly becomes extremely bad as it gains more power from from the loud chorus of banal voices, and as Matthew's passionate desire to enforce his... sorry 'The People's' will, on any person or industry that 'they' find displeasing, because they displease them - if successful, they would condemn us all to repeat the bloodiest lessons of history from France, Russia, Italy, Germany, Communist China, Cuba, Cambodia, and so on, in all of their miserably gory detail.

BTW, there are a couple words that Matthew's using here, that you'd do well to learn a little more about: "oppressive", "unaccountable", and "tyranny". Should you bother to give actual thought to the words he's cobbled together into this video of Virtue Signalling, you'll find that the word 'oppressive' has no meaning unless you first define what behavior is right and what is wrong, and which also can have no meaning without first defining why someone should be held accountable for their actions and how to fairly do so (AKA: Justice), and that tyranny involves the use of power to satisfy the passions voiced by the ruler or rulers, without regard to the individual rights of others, and without a constitutional system of justice which would make respecting their rights and property, possible. These word salads of his are little more than fascist fodder to lure the unwary and uninformed.
"Republican leadership today, they're against democracy [oh, how I wish that were true], and they're not even trying to hide it. They're only in power because of an undemocratic Electoral College, created by slaveholders. They're only in power because we have an undemocratic institution called the senate, that gives a single resident of Wyoming, as much voting power as 68 people in California, becasue every state gets two senators. Doesn't matter how many people live in them, and Republicans love that. They love how millions more Americans vote for Democrats, but don't get any representation."
As just noted, these weren't 'undemocratic' bugs in our Constitution, they are its anti-democracy features. And if you've never heard of the debates over the matter (and if, like Matthew, you're a college graduate, it's highly likely that you were never exposed to what is so thoughtlessly being denounced here), the House, the Senate, and the Electoral College, were revolutionary breakthroughs in the development of representative govt. Such statements as Matthew's indicate that he is either ignorant or disdainful of factors such as "The Connecticut Compromise", brilliantly - through lengthy, reasonable discussion and debate focused upon how best to represent the people's interests in local, state and federal government, struck a principled compromise to balance the means of representation between small and large states, in the federal government, which entailed having the House of Representatives be proportionate to each state's population (which satisfied the large states concerns over fairness), while each state was to be equally represented by having two members in the Senate (which reassured the smaller states fears of being oppressed by the larger states). As to the Electoral College, it provides the means for the people of the states to have those the people have directly elected, usually their State Representatives & State Senate (each state decides that for themselves), to select delegates as electors in the Electoral College from their localities, to best represent the interests and sentiments of their districts, and reducing the influence of the federal government or national movements, in the election of the President of the United States. These were hardly the actions that served the interests of tyrants, or represented the values of 'slave holders', but were the actions of free men who were wisely wary of the tactics of demagogues of both 'Democracy' and/or unlimited 'Statist' powers. That this fool's ideological rant is tone deaf to the Electoral College's real purpose and benefits, should in itself be extremely telling.

The fact that this "Message" misrepresents these features, and actually seeks measures which our Founder's wisely feared, displays Matthew's own lack of understanding of the nature and perils of carelessly placing power into the hands of interested men. Go figure. If he wishes to deride our Constitution as being a slave document, there's someone who has far more credibility on the subject than either Matthew or me, someone who once pointedly examined the question of "The Constitution of the United States: Is It Pro-Slavery or Anti-Slavery?", and that's the great essayist, and escaped slave, Frederick Douglass. Look into what he had to say, and get back to me on that, umkay?
"They love Free Stuff. Just like the Founding Fathers."
The Founding Fathers loved Liberty, and as they both knew Liberty, and the lack of it, they well understood that liberty wasn't free, and they knew that propositions of 'free things' and 'privileges', were the tyrants preferred means of seducing and depriving a people of their liberty. You, who seek to empower those of your ilk (whether that be the passions of the minority you wish to give dictatorial power over a majority, or to a majority who wishes to impose their desires over those of the minority, should make no difference whatsoever - that is, if Justice was Matthew's goal. But the underlying meaning of his every comment makes it manifestly clear that Justice is not his goal. Power is.
Well guess what: Slavery is over. States are not people, Corporations are not people, concentrated power and wealth, and a master race, and master culture; none of that is Democracy, and your sacred constitution is long overdue for a rewrite. As holy of a document as you've been thinking it is, conditionally of course, because even the Empire-Hungry Colonists would have been disgusted by your handing over everything 'Sir, yes Sir', to the Lords & Ladies of Big Box Stores, Oil, and Money, that Republicans are worshiping today.
Slavery is over (in America) because Americans refused to allow the Democrat Party to not only continue its 'peculiar institution' (an early exercise in Politically Correct phrasing. Some things never change) past the period the Constitution intended for it to cease (see Article 1, Section 9, and/or refer back to Douglass's essay above), but to expand and spread slavery across the nation. Slavery ended, because Americans who understood the concepts behind the words of the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution, demanded that the ideals of the Declaration of Independence, be fully realized, despite the Democrat's desire to follow the 'voice of Democracy'.
Frederick Douglass on Dred Scott decision

Matthew is correct in saying that States are not people, but he appears to be oblivious to the implications of that. States have powers but not rights (see 9th & 10th Amendments), which is one of many reasons why states do not vote as people do in presidential elections, but only through those features of the Electoral College (see above) which still, thankfully, remain. Corporations, also, are not people, but corporations are made up of people, and oppressing their powers directly oppresses those who work for, and/or hold stock in them - many of whom are union retirement pensioners - is those people's status as employees and shareholders of corporations, supposed to cost them 'their voice' in your Democracy (Answer: Yes, it is)? I'd ask who it is that Matthew envisions himself to be, to presume to 'speak for' the 'acceptable' people's voice, but there's not really a need to, is there, as imagining themselves to be the Experts and Betters, is just the sort of 'Master Race' image that Progressive Democrats have always seen themselves as being.

The Democrat Party, especially under the influence of 'Progressives' (Left & Right), are most responsible for concentrating power into the hands of administrative agency bureaucrats who are entirely unanswerable to the people, and for writing laws which give preference to the wealthy and powerful, over those who cannot afford the expensive lawyers required to navigate their loopholes. And of course, it was the Democrat Party and its Progressive wing, see especially their SCOTUS darling in Oliver Wendell Holmes, who sought to insert eugenics into the nations laws through from the Bench, with the aim of protecting a master race (them), and a master culture (made by their elite experts). One very clear lesson of history that we dare not forget, is that Adolph Hitler and Joseph Goebels wrote fan mail to American 'Progressive Democrats', and it was the 'Progressive Democrats' of FDR who rounded up Americans of Japanese descent, and threw them into concentration camps, during WWII. You might want to educate yourself on that matter, Matthew. And of course 'Democracy!' has been their favorite means and justification for every tyrannically abusive step they've ever taken.

If the Constitution needs to be amended, it will be done by We The People and in accordance with the rules We The People established, and not by the hysterical demands of the You The Woke (see Article V for hints on how that works).

I wonder if you've noticed how the #MeToo!, #BLM & #antifa!, are used by You The Woke to impose an identity politics of "'Sir, yes Sir'" submission upon the rest of your fellow Americans who still have some interest in a system of Justice? I also wonder if you are aware of how sensationalist agitation against "Big Box Stores, Oil, and Money" were the chosen notes (against 'Capitalists', Property Rights and Department Stores, among others) to arouse 'the voice of the people!' by Fascists in 1930's Germany? Again, perhaps you ought to educate yourself on that score as well.
The American Dream made us famous, all over the world; we gave people hope, but Republicans love it so much more, now that people have the worst chance at making it there than any other rich nation.
Despite the anti-American measures of the Administrative State, 1st outlined by racist 'Progressive' (D) Woodrow Wilson, 1st implemented under 'Progressive' (R) Teddy Roosevelt, and solidified under 'Progressive' (D) FDR, 'Progressive' (D) LBJ, and expanded under 'Progressive' (R)Nixon and perfected under 'Progressive' (D) BHO (noticing a trend there?), all of which have painfully undermined our individual rights, and made our laws ever more oppressive, America is still high on the list of destinations of people's around the world who wish to escape those states which most closely reflect Matthew's own ideals (Cuba, Venezuela, Communist China, etc), and immigrate to our shores in hopes of living in Liberty, even at great personal effort and expense. Perhaps you should investigate why that is, Matthew?
They prefer The Class System, The Caste System, extreme inequality, and poverty, because keeping other people down - the Communist, the Mexican, the Scary Pronoun, whatever word they want to give them, it makes them feel superior, like the old days, scared and demonizing whatever's out in the woods outside of the colony. Doesn't matter that their lives aren't much better, they're living through the achievements of their gods, icons of money, power, cruelty, and dripping arrogance, and that's why they love a fabric flag, more than the human flesh and blood that live and die under it: Because they're idol worshipers. And that is exactly what Jesus, and muhammad(pbuh), and Moses, told you not to do.
Reminding you once again, that the 'Class System' and the 'Caste System' were goals of the Democrat Party prior to the Civil War, and as the Jim Crow laws evidenced long after the Civil War, I'm reasonably sure that you cannot point to one major admission of, or change of 'principles', by the Democrat Party, the Progressives, or any of the Marxist variants that Matthew favors, which have substantively disavowed the power based beliefs which those systems are derived from and depend upon. And what is the Left's attacks upon conservatives (particularly, as befitting racists & bigots, against Whites, Christians & Conservatives), and even nuclear families, but an effort to empower a new caste system of 'the right kind of people', while forcibly imposing upon 'the wrong sort', via 'Democracy'?. The only disagreement which Matthew Cooke has with them, is who will be in power, over others. That some should have oppressive and tyrannical power to enforce their wishes, has nowhere been disavowed in any meaningful way by any of them, on the contrary, the various strains of Leftist 'intellectuals', from Derida, to Alinsky, to AOC, have consistently declared that individual rights are myths & fancies, and that all that matters is power for those classes & castes that Leftist's declare to be 'The People!' (who matter) and so are 'more equal' than others, for wanting what their 'leaders' say they should.

As to Matthew's fear of pronouns, 'Communist', should be understood to be not only a 'scary pronoun', but a clear and present danger of epically murderous dimensions, being responsible for the 100 million deaths across the 20th Century. The mouthing of its tenets and propaganda is, and should be considered, shameful. Being a Mexican, or any other nationality, is unworthy of being used, as Matthew does, to try and divide us, and his attempt to use it as if being of any nationality, should give anyone, preference or power over our laws that are to be applied equally to all, is disgusting. The fact that he does so, with such self-felating, no cost, virtue signaling rhetoric, and with such arrogant proclamations as he does, without a (any) 'decent respect to the opinions of mankind', bares the empty and vile nature of his beliefs.

As to examples of "living through the achievements of their gods, icons of money, power, cruelty, and dripping arrogance", I'd direct everyone's attention to Matthew's own profession's many and unending self congratulatory awards shows, their conspicuous displays of wealth, and their willing toleration for the raw desire for unlimited power over others, their cruelty towards any who dare to disagree, and the arrogance of such blanket statements.

BTW, while it may be difficult for someone of such a hidebound materialist mindset to grasp the importance and significance of symbols to invoke and convey the power of intellectual concepts, the importance of the American Flag is not lost upon those who do. Matthew's remarks display his own conceptual nakedness. The importance of such symbols were also not lost upon Jesus (see his own use of parables and his followers's use of the Cross), or of Moses (see the Torah & Ten Commandments), and the inability to distinguish between meaningful symbolism, and idol worship, once more shows Matthew's own leanings towards idolatry.
How dare you invoke the name of the Almighty and his messengers against the weak, the meek and the poor. The prophets led movements of the persecuted before they were overtaken by the persecutors who allied themselves with totalitarians like you're doing now, with modern day Saudi Arabia, and Israel under Netanyahu, and this radical Christian cult, all for a dirty oil empire, that is soaked in the blood of men and women and children and all the creatures of the earth
You who seek to empower the mob of democracy, over what is the first instance in human history of Liberty being secured, under a republican form of government, in order to hold the rights of each individual as being its primary purpose for existing, you dare say 'how dare you!'?! Irony abounds. Every murderous totalitarian of the 20th Century, from Mussolini, to Hitler, to Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, etc., they ALL espoused Matthew's beliefs, and they did so in order to stir the mob of 'Democracy!' into action, and then to enslave them with it. And this 'Message' is what he is Virtue Signalling out into the internet, as if the 20th Century's rivers of blood had not been shed for these same hollow shams. Shameful. That he derides a 'radical Christian cult' (without which the concept of 'individual rights' would not exist), while mouthing 'muhammad(pbuh)' untempered by any reference to the plagues of murderous islamists who terrorize people in the world here & now today, is once again, showing his own blind ideological nakedness and negligent disregard for reality, reason and truth.

And as to equating a tyranny like Saudi Arabia, with the nation of Israel, which provides the most liberty available in the entire region of the Middle East, is a breathtaking exercise in thoughtlessness and irresponsibility. And that Matthew does so, while espousing those very ideals that fascists & socialists & communists have used again, and again, and again, in order to enslave their own peoples under totalitarian dictatorships, displays his own unwillingness and inability to think through the meaning of the words that he's wrapping himself so tightly up in - the banality of evil, incarnate.
Now when Republican leaders say they love freedom, they love the freedom of unchecked domination, and they're followers, they love the freedom to live out some paranoid revenge-fantasy, of needing a firearm in case their superiority gets challenged in a WalMart or on some street in Portland.
This coming from the likes of those who endorse 'free speech is violence', 'punch a nazi!', '#MeToo!', whose rhetoric has stirred Berni Bro's to attempt to assassinate a park full of Republicans practicing for a baseball game, and attempted firebombing of an ICE facility on the streets of Tacoma, WA. Does no one possess mirrors to see themselves in? Are you so blinded by your own Virtue Signalling, that you cannot see the contradictory emptiness of your own words? And you seriously expect the rest of us to leave ourselves defenseless before you?! Stunning.
If you're wondering what set me off, I just saw how the Right-Wing PR Machine is uplifting war criminal soldiers that the Navy condemned, and their Dear Leader pardoned, and I guess some people on the Right want these savages to campaign with their master as heroes, and they think a Navy Seal calling out War Crimes, is somehow Political Correctness. Well my Grandfather would disagree with you.
Yes, when Political Correctness is used to condemn military members acting in a time of war, as war criminals, exposing and overturning such judgments, is carrying out justice, and that should be done publicly, and the politically correct ideology which drove that injustice, should be publicly called out and condemned, again, and again, and again.
This Republican Goon Squad worships the government when it gives them illegitimate authority over the people, then they march in their lock-step, drunk with their abuse of power.
Again, you who are seeking to overturn the Rule of Law, demanding to impose the will of the mob upon the rest of us, because you want it, is the very image of illegitimate authority being chased in pursuit of power over your fellows.
No. You can't have our Democracy. You can't make it a Great Republic for Slaveholders and Wage Slavery. Not again, not now, not ever. We beat you, and your masters, in the Civil War; we beat you on the beaches of Normandy; we beat you in Birmingham, and we're going to beat you again, because the truth wins. And you can stand by while all our communications networks get drowned with some Russian psychological warfare, you can redraw all our maps, you can keep suppressing the voting rights of our Black, Brown, and First Nation brothers and sisters, and go ahead, keep using the old slave laws to False-Multiply your votes; keep tricking all your scared, angry, ignorant old White People into supplication before your Orange-Golden Calf, but we're going to beat you, we're going to replace you, and we're going to change the culture - if not this election, then out in the streets, because you cannot have this land, you cannot have this country, it was never yours in the first place.
No, you do not have, and cannot have, a Democracy. Not here, not now, not ever. Because America is a great Republic, she was able to overthrow your like minded Democrat forebears who were the slaveholders who refused to allow their 'peculiar institution' of slavery to die. The Right, led by the Republican Party, whatever its current ills may be, was founded for the purpose of ending slavery, and The Right beat you and your slave masters in the Civil War, and it was that same Jim Crow Democrat Party that The Right defeated in Birmingham, and 'we' are going to beat you again, because you stand against and in opposition to what is true and just. Your Democrat Party aparatchiks attempted a legislative coup through 'Russian Collusion' impeachment, you and your ilk have tarred the names of good men, from Clarence Thomas to Brett Kavenaugh, to schoolboys wearing the 'wrong' hats, and you have called them racists, rapists and fascists, and have actually demanded that rules of evidence be cast aside to declare them guilty without trial, for no other reason than the fact that they disagree with your pro-regressive ideology.

You, Matthew, by your own unreasonable words and actions, show yourselves to be the modern day fascists - those who urge violence to suppress dissent and force compliance with an ideology - and despite your filthy marxist propaganda for actual slavery, we are defeating you, because as purveyors of lies and hatred, you are in substance, nothing, nihil, you and your ideals are less than chaff in the wind, and the winds of history is going to blow you into the nothingness that your banal Virtue Signalling truly is. You deserve to be forgotten by posterity, except as a cautionary tale to be told so that your ideas will prevail, never again.


JWM said...

Van, I haven't dropped by for one of your lengthy and beautifully thought out essays in quite a while. Very glad that I dropped in for this one. Pity you couldn't give this little man the pantsing you gave him in a wider venue. I'd sure give my nickel to see this twerp thusly humiliated in public. Hope you and yours are well, and I pray that we all of us get though this most "interesting of times" unscathed.
God bless.


Van Harvey said...

JWM said "... I pray that we all of us get though this most "interesting of times" unscathed."

Oh, a most hearty Ditto on that, my friend.

And good seeing ya (here)! ;-)