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Re: [existlist] The supreme overlord

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  • George Walton
    J. Given that wars are still waged by human beings using sophisticated machines of mass destruction and not [re The Terminator] the other way around [yet], I
    Message 1 of 275 , Jan 4, 2002
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      J.

      Given that wars are still waged by human beings using sophisticated machines of mass destruction and not [re The Terminator] the other way around [yet], I would agree that most assessments of them will be subjective and reductionist. My point, however, is that American foreign policy has been, is now, and probably always will be in the service of the almighty buck---and not the preposterously ludicrous and lofty ideals the politicos in Washington foist on a general public who possess the intellectual sophistication of the mass market, pop culture automatons they mostly are. Why else would our federal government install and than prop up the most vicious and repressive autocratic and militaristic dictators-----from Pinochet and Somoza to Suharto and the Shah of Iran? What do you think is behind the Monroe Doctrine---freedom, justice, human dignity? Oh, yeah....how did that meatball mind Jean Kirkpatrick defend it----"well, authoritarian they may well be but at least they're not totalitarians".

      So, your point is what......that our Little Nazis are better than theirs? Well, up to a point I would agree with you. After all, nothing is worse than 20 Osama bin Ladens in power over there [or anywhere]. It's just the astonishing hypocrisy I truly revel in pointing out when American Patriots wrap the American flag around human freedom when so much unimaginable human suffering is propagated around the globe by a political economy that will trample time and again any and all social forces that stand in the way of their bottom line. American foreign policy? It is about cheap labor, natural resources and markets. End of story. Call it that and acknowledge it as the worst possible policy except for all the others and, hey, I'll respect you. Insist that it reflects a moral crusade to engender human dignity and human justice and human freedom and you deserve the contempt any thinking person steeps upon you.

      Imperialism by any other name?

      george


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: clickhereforinsignificance <livewild@...>
      To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2002 6:50 PM
      Subject: [existlist] The supreme overlord


      >
      > George,
      >
      > just a tangent.... the Kuwait war was not fought only for the reasons
      > you state (which are also valid). This is the common perception and
      > something I tire of hearing. Do you think that Saddam would have
      > stopped with Kuwait's despots? What about Saudi Arabia and co.?
      > Perhaps the entire middle east under a banner of uniting the Arabs.
      > Uniting Aryans ring a bell?
      >
      > If WWII taught us anything it is in OUR best interests to prevent
      > despots from growing unabated because as their empire grows they will
      > salivate as they look at you. Yes it sucks that we must interfer but
      > not not interfering is the greater crime of two bad choices. Think
      > about the Policy of Containment that dictated American foreign policy
      > for 40 years. As "bad" as was it eventually held out against the red
      > tide. Not a new concept either... based on "balance of power theory"
      > to politics and one of the reasons the E.U. and A.P. countries are
      > banding together to fill the superpower void left to America by the
      > former Soviet Union.
      >
      > That is why >>> several dozen countries << participated in this
      > excercise not only the U.S... albeit it had the largest presence. This
      > is the same reason for intervention in Somolia and Yugoslavia which
      > have no oil nor profitability. It anything we do not do enough (i.e.
      > Rwanda) Believe it or not some of our leaders actually have a
      > conscience and the common good at heart although, like every man,
      > often we make the wrong decision. Not everything is a conspiracy of
      > the secret-surpreme-overlord-man-G~d that controls every aspect of our
      > lives.
      >
      > J.Aiden
      >
      > -----------------------------------------------
      >
      >
      > --- In existlist@y..., "George Walton" <george@r...> wrote:
      > > Eduard,
      > >
      > > What original code? From what or whom was it derived? As with all
      > other
      > > moral quandaries, it is merely a projection of a particular cultural
      > > consensus [generally derived from the political and economic
      > interests of
      > > those who have the power to enforce what is of far greater
      > importance---its
      > > particulars]. A social contraption, in other words, hopelessly
      > ensnared in
      > > contingency. Just because you string words together---thou shalt not
      > > kill---does not make it an objective rendering of public morality.
      > And if
      > > there are endless [often contradictory] qualifications to
      > > it, this merely confirms my own point that the moral content of all
      > such
      > > codes is hopelessly contingent upon and thus subsumed in the
      > particular
      > > existential context in which it is expressed and/or enforced.
      > >
      > > Again, abortion. What does "Thou shalt not Kill" mean when it can
      > never even
      > > be resolved as to whether a fetus is encompassed in such a dictum?
      > Or if
      > > someone says "A Fetus Is A Human Being" does that make it an
      > objective
      > > opinion? I happen to believe that aborting a fetus is the killing of
      > a human
      > > being. I also happen to believe that, under no circumstances, should
      > a woman
      > > be restricted from having an abortion. A distinction being made, in
      > other
      > > words, between killing and murdering. How do I resolve that? I
      > don't. Why?
      > > Because I can't. No one sans God can. From my point of view, human
      > morality
      > > is marbled through and through with ambiguity [contingency]. Thus,
      > as Simone
      > > deBeauvoir expressed it, only an "ethics of ambiguity" can
      > realistically
      > > apply regarding the "human condition".
      > >
      > > Actually, this particular moral code as opposed to that particular
      > moral
      > > code is of far greater interest to me than the fact that moral codes
      > per se
      > > exist. Of course, they do. If nothing else, they are a utilitarian
      > device
      > > by/from which social interaction is ordered. It is, however, that
      > they are
      > > essentially interchangeable that makes for the horrific turbulence
      > that is
      > > human history, eh? You know, when these folks over here insist that
      > those
      > > folks over there should share the same moral code----their own, of
      > course.
      > > And, alas, when push comes to shove, "morality" is almost always
      > just the
      > > fig leaf they use to justify their economic plunder. Thus we sent
      > our smart
      > > bombs into Iraq and killed thousands of innocent men women and
      > children
      > > because we were defending the sovereignty of the autocratic despots
      > in
      > > Kuwait. The oil to fuel American SUVs? Hell, Bush and the Big
      > Buckmeister
      > > ruling class hardly factored that into it at all, right?
      > >
      > > Mr Zimmerman: "democracy don't rule this world/you better get that
      > through
      > > your head/this world is ruled by violence/but I guess that's better
      > left
      > > unsaid"
      > >
      > > You'd be surprised I'm sure by just how many "moral codes" there are
      > on this
      > > blood
      > > splattered planet that derive their...uh...potency from this
      > observation. I
      > > wonder sometimes how Plato would have encompassed the 20th century
      > in his
      > > ludicrous "Forms".
      > >
      > > George
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: Eduard Alf <yeoman@v...>
      > > To: <existlist@y...>
      > > Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2002 5:03 PM
      > > Subject: RE: [existlist] existentialism
      > >
      > >
      > > > George,
      > > >
      > > > All of your qualifications .. you could go onto the zillions of
      > > > qualifications ... but in each instance it is still a
      > qualification. And
      > > in
      > > > each instance we are aware that the original code still stands.
      > In each
      > > > instance the condition is that; it is wrong [against the code],
      > but I do
      > > or
      > > > god does it, because of such n' such justification.
      > > >
      > > > A moral code is something against which we measure our behavior.
      > If you
      > > > face a situation and you kill someone, it is not that you do it
      > with the
      > > > thought that this is something for which there is no definition of
      > right
      > > or
      > > > wrong. We do it, because we are able to weigh the wrong against a
      > > > justification. If you happen to face a second situation for which
      > there
      > > may
      > > > be a desire or need to kill someone, you return to the same
      > process. This
      > > > second killing is wrong, but I do it on the basis of such n' such
      > > > justification. The same applies to the third and fourth killing
      > and so
      > > on.
      > > >
      > > > The moral code is not a law akin to physics. If a rock falls to
      > earth, it
      > > > does not involve a judgment on our part. A moral code is a social
      > code.
      > > > Thou shalt drive on the right-hand side of the road ... unless god
      > does it
      > > > ... unless it is to avoid a tube of toothpaste. Simply because
      > you happen
      > > > to justify driving on the left-hand side of the road, does not
      > mean that
      > > the
      > > > Highways Department is watching so that they can rewrite their
      > code
      > > > everytime you do it. The code remains; you choose how you wish to
      > follow
      > > > it. Yet in not following it, you are aware that you need to
      > justify your
      > > > action. Unless, unless, unless, etc...
      > > >
      > > > eduard
      > > > -----Original Message-----
      > > > From: George Walton [mailto:george@r...]
      > > > Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2002 8:11 AM
      > > > To: existlist@y...
      > > > Subject: Re: [existlist] existentialism
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Eduard,
      > > >
      > > > Thou shalt not kill*
      > > >
      > > > *Unless God does it
      > > > *Unless it is done in God's name
      > > > *Unless it is in battle
      > > > *Unless you are so mentally incapacitated you don't even know
      > what you
      > > are
      > > > doing
      > > > *Unless it is clearly in self-defense
      > > > *Unless it's just a video game
      > > > *Unless it's just on TV
      > > > *Unless it is a toddler pulling the trigger
      > > > *Unless it is to save others
      > > > *Unless it is in the first trimester
      > > > *Unless it is a "lower" life form
      > > > *Unless it is deeply embedded in cultural mores
      > > > *Unless, unless, unless....
      > > >
      > > > I think I follow your "objective" rendering now. You say "Thou
      > shalt not
      > > > kill" and someone else says "well sure, less the zillion
      > circumstantial
      > > > contingencies that might warrant it, of course." Or someone else
      > says,
      > > > "Thou
      > > > shalt kill" and says "hey, it's just like buying toothpaste".
      > > >
      > > > Science has pretty much nailed down gravity here on Earth. You
      > can drop
      > > a
      > > > rock from your hand in any culture, from any nation, subscribing
      > to any
      > > > political or religious tenet you please and it will not start
      > soaring up
      > > > into a lunar trajectory. That is objective enough for me. You
      > approach
      > > > killing as though it were just another sort of...well....law of
      > physics.
      > > > Philosophy is about relationships.....between the words we use
      > to
      > > express
      > > > our opinions about what reality "is" and whatever "reality" may
      > or may
      > > not
      > > > actually "be" out in the world regarding how we ought to
      > interact with
      > > and
      > > > around others.
      > > >
      > > > George
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
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      > > > (Includes community book list, chat, and more.)
      > > >
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      > > >
      >
      >
      >
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      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • mary.jo11
      Also, Fathers and Sons by Turgenev, and Todd Olivier s biography of Camus. Mary
      Message 275 of 275 , Jan 4, 2008
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        Also, Fathers and Sons by Turgenev, and Todd Olivier's biography of
        Camus.

        Mary
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