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Thursday, 26 May 2016

Thoughts on a Sad State: #Elbowgate


AN INSTANCE OF SYMPATHY

I am not particularly familiar with the whole fiasco. Nor do I particularly like our Prime Minister the Honourable Justin Trudeau, in fact loath is often a better term. However, I feel for him, and yet he enrages me; this is a direct consequence of his responses to the unfathomably stupid and infantile #Elbowgate controversy. To me the whole ferocious attack on Mr Trudeau over an apolitical and completely harmless error is not just indicative of the hysteria that permeates our culture in general but a malaise of effete conditioning tied to political correctness and feminism at the expense of masculinity and confrontation. 

Guess what happened? Someone was confronted in the House of Commons. Order broke down, it happened and it happens. Winston Churchill famously wrote that the House of Commons (of Britain) was designed in such a fashion to promote conflict, and this was an indication of a model of politics distinct from continental conciliation. The fact that the opposition and government sit directly across from each other in the model of battle lines is the obvious physical manifestation. It gave British and by extension Canadian politics a different character. 

Now we have introduced women En Masse to the political scene. We have invited them to participate equally in male spaces across the societal spectrum, while men are likewise denied affirming male spaces of their own, see Toronto's attempt at men's shelters.  But as the member of for Berthier—Maskinong√© Ruth Ellen Brosseau found our commons has a character independent of the people and must be respected. The media snivels about women's 26% participation rate in the House, well it isn't; clear they wish to be a part of the institution on its own terms anyways. I say good riddance. 

Our Prime Minister made on clear and obvious error. He apologized. His handlers made him into a sniveling patsy. He could have framed the issue in his terms as Bill Clinton perhaps would have, may not be the best role model, but their is no faster way to lose respect than to plead for forgiveness.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Thoughts on the Evolution of Socialists to Conservatives.

Why do so many conservatives begin as socialists? It's a common pattern. 

I had to ponder this question while writing my most recent column for TheeWesterner.

I had strong socialist and Marxist inklings in my youth and it seemed to me that it enabled the liberalism I loved while also providing a sense of value and duty and perhaps even destiny. 

I am not sure I have the answer. I know that Whittaker Chambers viewed it as a substitution for faith, and I recall that Peter Hitchens viewed it in the same fashion. That most conservatives seem to lose faith in materialism and find God as an alternative (and a viable one) to the Marxist historical dialectic. 

My Brain is fried this may be an error here if so my apologies. 

Otherwise, could it be a  longing for control? a stabilization of the world around them? I can see the mystique that Marxism seems to provide. Government micromanagement both as an arbitrary means to restrict freedoms where necessary whilst also providing an amoral doctrine that facilitates the rationalizations of a cynical and hedonistic mind. Perhaps, that's why many seem to grow out of Marxist thinking. 

I'd hate to see Neoconservatives or anyone else attributing the disappearance of communist sympathies to being 'mugged by reality' yet, I am not sure if there is something else. I feel there has to be perhaps it is the search for truth that we fail to admit our own pursuit of. 

If anyone has a better explanation or some insight let me know.

Thinking Out Loud: Free Will, Forest Fires, and Reconstruction



Two moves, and a split from the fiance have been debilitating in terms of my daily routine. So as part of a restorative effort that includes more reading, more sleeping, (I hope), more exercise, and more typing, i'll be setting out to do some small scale thinking on this blog. The reason I say small scale is because work is twelve hours a day and night shifts really diminish the cognitive function (nicotine and caffeine only do so much), but I am going to try to toss some thoughts on a regular basis in addition to my regular contributions at TheeWesterner. 

Firstly, I am not a person who lives in the contemporary timescale. I don't keep up with news well, nor do I wish too. It's too much. Its too fast. I'd rather spend my time taking in something substantive and being able to find some greater insight than simply snap up sound bites and regurgitate news coverage with spin. However, I am going to touch on something today. 

FORT MCMURRAY WILDFIRE.

I feel genuine sorrow for those who lost their homes and workplaces in that catastrophe, but it seems to me that the conservative commentariate in Canada is a little off base on this one. No Notley Trudeau conspiracy seems to be extant. Rather, its been, not to underplay the disaster, a relatively small amount of damage to the community, it was the potential that was the killer. We are lucky and we are recovering, and I have spoken to a number of evacuee's at my day job at the hospital and all seem relatively content with the treatment they have received. It's sad, but its not a conspiracy, its not bungling, (the disaster seems well managed) and its not a partisan issue. These people leaving Fort McMurray are Canadians and I applaud Brian Jean as well as the rest of the political class for treating them as such. They are people getting by lets not complicate it. 

Secondly, I cannot abide the garbage suggestion that these people are receiving some form of cosmic karma for either their employment in the oilfield or their squandering of money and failure at frugality. The frugality issue is slightly unrelated, but with the latest economic crisis and the plummeting oil prices are sure see a great many people throwing stones. Human beings lack foresight, and for those who take the time to carefully plan, budget, and limit their hedonistic consumption, good for you, but I don't see any merit in throwing stones. We all make errors, and to pretend our frailty is any different is a lie. Sure we may not have multiple RV's, boats, or overpriced vacations but we all fail at monitoring our indulgences. 

FREE WILL

I recently read the long essay 'Free Will' by Sam Harris. I know many dislike him, indeed I think Harris is erroneous as a New Atheist, but I don't doubt his intellect or his authority in terms of philosophy or neuroscience. I think Sam is doing his best to make us more moral and ethical and for that I appreciate his efforts even if they do not jive well with the theological disposition. 

In 'Free Will' Sam argues that we in fact do not have 'free' will and I agree to a great extent. I don't believe we necessarily fail in the sense that our cognitive functions precede our rationalizations or conscious awareness and that somehow makes us less autonomous or rational, but rather, I agree with him in two other senses: firstly, that our free will belongs to us only in the sense that it originates and is exercised in the context of our community, family, and institutions, and secondly, that our capacity to know our self is limited by a predisposition to rationalize post hoc in the vein of David Hume. Finally, I found it interesting just how well Harris's argument meshes with the Augustinian understanding that our locus of control is outside ourselves and that despite our inability to exercise a free will, or at least exercise it in the conscious sense we would like to,  we are still able to find salvation and grow our empathy outside of such concrete understandings of autonomy. If I could sum up my conservatism a large portion of my understanding would cohere with Harris in that our notion of the man as an island to himself consciously and always in control of his actions is fallacious. I don't agree with Sam that this is necessarily a physiological phenomenon in the sense he does, but I do agree it is part of the human condition; its a part we have spent too long ignoring for the alternative fetishization of autonomy. 


If we do choose to perceive our autonomy in such a fashion as to assert that each man makes decisions in full and conscious control of his faculties and without a fallen, debased, or impulsive fashion then it seems to me that we abandon the societal imperative to construct a community worth living in. 

Feel free to stop me if I am wrong....


Monday, 2 May 2016

New Article at TheeWesterner "We Are All Liberals Now"



I would like to point any readers of mine interested to a new article just completed and posted over at TheeWesterner.com It is about the nature of politics in the modern era, specifically the fact that all political thinking is tainted with modernist and liberal presuppositions derived from the English Liberals and State of Nature theorists.

It is my contention that it is impossible to introduce political ethics and moral thinking an a non-arbitrary sense if you do not adopt a teleological and theological apparatus acceptable throughout the political community.

This used to exist in scholastic thought. Eg) Thomas Aquinas built arguments on both reason and revelation, which directed the reader toward understanding of mans place within the cosmic order. We no longer conceive of nature as something man must adapt too however, but rather something to master, this modernist mastery mindset affects everything, and I wish I could have said more about it. Either way.

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