On 12/15/2012 1:19 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Saturday, December 15, 2012 10:00:54 AM UTC-5, rclough wrote:
Hi Craig Weinberg
By progressives I obviously meant those that act to change things.
Which means overthrowing the way the "good, the beautiful and
the true" are thought to be and commonly accepted as.
Do you think that when Gandhi inspired the colonized Indian subjects
of the British Empire that he was overthrowing something beautiful?
That he was changing what was commonly accepted as good?
When progressives went into the American South to fight lynchings and
segregation, was that some kind of a perverse new take on what was
'commonly accepted as good'? How about slavery? Was that good and true
and beautiful? How about unrestrained abuse of laborers by industry?
Also the good old days?
subverts morality, philosophy and religion, and aesthetics.
It's a form of social darwinism. The dynamics of social change.
Just because there is an existing condition does not make it worthy of
support. You are justifying whatever form of tyranny and oppression
happened to have come before you and denouncing any attempt to restore
liberty. That is just as much Social Darwinism as anything else. It is
to say 'whoever tries to change anything is a ruthless bastard, but
whoever enforces the existing order or regressing to a previous order
is a good and moral person.'
As with Darwinism, some of these changes have been good.
Einstein, Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Van Gogh certainly
brought in good new things.
But some are not so good. Nietzsche attempted
to overthrow morality completely, and the poets, novellists,
screenwriters and other artists, etc, have had mixed results,
especially to sexual morality and human decency. Now
young men think nothing of executing a kindergarten class.
Of course, not all attempts at change are good or end up being good.
The same goes for attempts to prevent change. There are
counter-revolutionaries who are just as bloody as revolutionaries.
The idea that 'young men think nothing of executing a kindergarten
class' being related to progressive causes is ridiculous. If that were
the case, then progressive Scandinavia, France, Canada, etc would be
awash in massacres. Progressives try to eliminate guns, remember?
Twelve-tone music is listenable for a while, but it really has no
unity or beauty. And popular music has discarded beautiful
melodies and lyrics in favor of whining voices or those singing rap.
Again, if you are over 65, I sympathize. I'm 44, so I remember being a
kid and what it was like in the 70s when modern art, rock music, and
other confrontational aesthetics were still big news. I agree with you
that culture has become more and more degraded during my lifetime and
I agree that there is something to that beyond just my taste, but
really it isn't that important. The decay of Amercian culture is not
the result of what happened 50 years ago or even (much worse in my
opinion) what happened in the 80s when Reagan era conservatism brought
back militarism and overconsumption values. If you want to blame
something, blame overpopulation and the corruption of American
institutions. The value of human life is indirectly proportionate to
how many extra people you have and how imbalanced the society is.
Those are the tensions which make money more important than making
Now living together without marriage has become the norm for
young people, and we have indiscriminate sex and pornography.
These destroy the basic unit of human existence, the family.
Homosexual marriage also invalidates the meaning of marriage.
Living together without marriage, casual sex, and pornography have
made life enjoyable and bearable for everyone, not just young people.
They don't destroy anything. The meaning of marriage is up to the
consenting adults who participate into it - not *you* or your tastes.
If the kind of rigid, backward looking morality that you elevate
really was better, and really was God's magic recipe for perpetual
happiness...why didn't it stay that way? Do you think that Satan
himself could have convinced truly happy married couples to get
divorced? That pornography would have been a temptation for people who
were well served by this Bronze Age ideal? Progress triumphed over
fundamentalism in the 60s because people were educated enough and
content enough for the first time to cast off the Calvinist neuroses
of the 19th century and grow up and out into a real world full of real
choices - not paint by numbers automatism.
All of these points are instances of taking a particular
evaluational frame, making it absolute, and issuing judgements from it.
It is what is known, to some, as chronocentrism. It is simply
wrongheaded. Unless you put yourself into the context with you are
evaluating and then considering the facts as they stand with a set of
universal ethical principles, then those judgements and implications
cannot be seen as anything more than rationalizations to behave in one
way or another.
We can rationalize any action to be good or bad. Rationalization,
pushed too far, allows anything.
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