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November 17, 2003 5:48 AM   Subscribe

"Why can't homosexuals take responsibility for their role in the propagation of HIV infections? It was their culture and practices that facilitated HIV infection and tipped the balance to epidemic. Even before this male homosexuals known for their association with transmission of disease".

"Queens are pathetic in old age as their protestations about the faults of others fail to hide their wrinkles"

Jesus you people* are hateful, and smug too.
*homoleftists


I know that we need more diversity of opinion here on PinkoFilter, but where's the limit (if there is one)? (more inside)

posted by matteo to Etiquette/Policy at 5:48 AM (185 comments total)

I guess it's OK to call the NYTimes "a Communist manifesto" and argue that it's rewarding "to work honestly and hard... With few exceptions the poor do neither. And then they have the further stupidity to breed beyond their ability to feed. Then they vote, and for higher taxes. There is a tipping point and it can destroy a democracy"., it's OK because we don't want intellectual inbreeding here after all right?

But if the anti-gay rants quoted above are cool, do we have to expect in the future things like "Black people are lazy" or "Jews are greedy"? Is that just diversity of opinion? Is this the kind of contribution MetaFilter needs from Conservatives?
posted by matteo at 5:54 AM on November 17, 2003


It'd probably be helpful if you linked to where the text you're quoting was said, so that people could read it in context.
posted by anapestic at 6:05 AM on November 17, 2003


Palecon is a troll, and should in my opinion be banned. And before people jump on the right/left bandwagon, Palecon's views do not represent thoughtful argument, but are simply hate-filled trolling.

Look at all Palecon's recent comments and you soon get a pretty good idea of what Matteo is talking about.
posted by johnny novak at 6:09 AM on November 17, 2003


Well, he does make a good point about queens. ;-P
posted by mischief at 6:17 AM on November 17, 2003


Yeah, it's asinine, but it's also pretty easy to debunk with logic. Let him woof-woof all he wants. The more you hear, the stupider he sounds, and the more he can be ignored. Banning him would only feed a persecution complex.
posted by jonmc at 6:58 AM on November 17, 2003


Paleocon strikes me as a sort of 111 without the vocabulary or bibliography, but with the same simple manicheistic worldview (right/left, gay/straight, america-luvin/america-hatin, etc.).
posted by signal at 7:12 AM on November 17, 2003


Homosexuals, communism sympathizers and assorted minorities are not exempt from having their personal and social shortcomings pointed out. I don't think MetaFilter can be forever doomed to act as a cave where homosexuals tell each other comforting lies and hide from real life, or a front where people can repeat their immoral leftist partyline over and over again as the honest truth.

I entirely agree with the three sentences quoted above. Even Camille Paglia (an open lesbian who describes herself as libertarian) has mentioned that the promiscuous gay culture of the seventies was partially responsible for the AIDS crisis. Get used to this and other harsh facts of life.

Time and again, people ask for the banishment of someone who has hurt their gay/liberal tender feelings, but that's not the way real life works. If conservatives were wrong, the left-handed brigade would simply argue back, but the fact that they keep trying to shut the voice of those who disagree with them is a malicious use of politically correct standards, which can be described quite simply as censorship.
posted by 111 at 7:54 AM on November 17, 2003


So what's your excuse for being such a fuckwitted spunkbubble, 111*?
posted by i_cola at 8:11 AM on November 17, 2003


jonmc is right. Let them talk, then refute them, then ignore them. Banning is a bad idea (unless, of course, there is unacceptable behavior that goes beyond mere expression of ideas). Idiotic views like paleocon's are common out there in the offline world, and it's a good idea to be reminded of that fact.
posted by languagehat at 8:16 AM on November 17, 2003


It seems fitting at this juncture to qoute paleocon himself who not so long ago made his opinion clear in an peculiarly similar thread:

"This thread is yet one more in a long tradition of whinefests about style points when defenders of the liberal faith have a conflict with the substance."
posted by hama7 at 8:17 AM on November 17, 2003


but the fact that they keep trying to shut the voice of those who disagree with them is a malicious use of politically correct standards, which can be described quite simply as censorship.

well, 10 users have posted comments in this thread.

1 in 10, I repeat, 1 in 10, is in favor of banning paleocon.
for someone whose username is "111" you can't really seem to be able to count.
where's the pro-censorship lynch-mob? 10 % dissent is so unbearable for you?

heh

it's amazing how the right-wing is ready to whine and cry "censorship".

but then again, the way right-wingers apparently feel besieged even if they do have a tight grip on the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court has always been a source of amusement (if one is of course amused by shameless displays of bad faith and paranoia)
posted by matteo at 8:26 AM on November 17, 2003


has mentioned that the promiscuous gay culture of the seventies was partially responsible for the AIDS crisis.

My knowledge of sex in the 70's is secondhand (I was way big into Big Wheels and Batman at the time), but from what I've been told, a lotta straight folk were pretty promiscuous at the time as well. And pre-AIDS, who could blame gays for being promiscous. You had not one but two overheated male libidos, nobocy got pregnant and the worst outcome was a case of the crabs or syphillis.

I do realize I'm ignoring the emotional costs (for some) of promiscuity, like the fact that it requires a thick skin, which I don't have, but that's not the point. AIDS is a virus. Viruses are incapable of moral judgement.
posted by jonmc at 8:28 AM on November 17, 2003


I tend to dismiss pronouncements such as paleocon's because it's quite easy to dismiss such irrational statements unless it's obvious the person making such statements has indeed lived the life rather than just letting their own holy book or inbred sense of morality live it for them.

I find it far harder to dismiss my fellow homosexuals and friends who completely and blithely ignore and refuse to discuss such facts as the continued upward trend of STD infections amongst gay men ... a trend attributed to a parallel upward trends in barebacking and drug use. Facts such as how the Internet has allowed many gay men to form illicit sexual relationships with married straight men, thus despoiling a "sacred institution" in which we claim--demand!--a desire to participate. Facts such that we, as a 'community', have pretty much given in to the illusion that we've been mainstreamed, that the cocktail is a cure, and have gone back to the kind of shallow, lifeless, drug and sex filled culture that existed amongst us before AIDS.

Trying to mention these troubling facts amongst those that are supposed to be allies in whatever cause(s) my status as a gay man earns me gets me labeled as a wank, an internalized homophobe, a whiner, and worse. We're supposed to focus on the wonderful work the Fab Five's doing in gaining "us" acceptance, and ignore the party that happened last Saturday night, where a 22 year old man invited a bunch of his barely-oh-let's-admit-it-they-were-under-18 buddies via the 'net over for some beer, blunts, and barebacking. And filmed it. And put it on Kazaa.

To be quite honest, it revolts me, the willful ignorance displayed on both sides of the equation.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:48 AM on November 17, 2003


it's amazing how the right-wing is ready to whine and cry "censorship".

now what about that statement folks.
I say TROLL baby TROLL.
posted by clavdivs at 8:49 AM on November 17, 2003


What's the point of this thread?
posted by Witty at 9:01 AM on November 17, 2003


And pre-AIDS, who could blame gays for being promiscous. You had not one but two overheated male libidos, nobocy got pregnant and the worst outcome was a case of the crabs or syphillis.

No.

The worst outcome was Hepatitis B, which is sometimes fatal, and which as late as 1982 and 1983 was still killing more gay males than AIDS. (That was before the vaccine was widely available.) Other bad outcomes include herpes simplex, which is for life; condyloma accuminata (venereal warts -- large fungating leafy structures about the genitalia); amebiasis, which can result in disastrous liver abscesses, and something called gay bowel syndrome, a combination of all of these and a variety of other GI bugs. (The link says it's associated with HIV, and it is, nowadays, but it was first identified in the late 1970's, before HIV was widespread.)

Even syphilis is pretty ugly if you don't realize you have it and don't get treated. Ever hear of gummas? How about general paresis of the insane?

Let's be pretty clear: sexual promiscuity, whatever its ethical/moral implications, is not safe from an infectious disease standpoint, no matter what your sexual orientation.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 9:06 AM on November 17, 2003


anyone wanna fuck? email me.
posted by item at 9:27 AM on November 17, 2003


This whole thread makes my heart sad on a gloomy Monday morning.
posted by Quartermass at 9:40 AM on November 17, 2003


What's the point of this thread?

I'm with you on this one Witty (which doesn't happen very often {wink}), what IS the purpose of this thread?
posted by Witty at 9:44 AM on November 17, 2003


Take a look at the first quote, in context. The offending statement isn't about whether or not homosexuals had a role in the spread of HIV, but that they should take responsability for that spread to epidemic. Uhh...No. Epidemics are public health issues, and as such we tend to require that our govt. agencies treat them as such. I wonder if paleocon would post such a statement claining that Blacks and those of Mediteranian descent are responsable for the spread of sickle cell anemia, and should admit responsability for that.

The quoted statements are offensive by weight of stupidity, blind direction of blame and fear. That doesn't necessarily mean that paleocon should be banned, but matteo is absolutely correct for pointing out that statements like these are indefensible on the grounds that we should want diversity of opinion. Different viewpoints, yes; ignorant finger pointing, not so much.

111, rather than circle the wagons of conservative defense, why don't you actually take a look at the stupidity of the logic sometimes. You might actually learn something, which is the true value of diversity of opinion (/wasted words).

(/using lots of typing to say what jonmc already said)
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:49 AM on November 17, 2003


Witty, I think the point is that there is a rude ignoramous out there that needs a spotlight thrown on what passes for that one's arguments. Etiquette/policy ... that's what it's here for.
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:52 AM on November 17, 2003


One interesting point about 111 and (to a lesser degree) Paleocon, is that almost all of their comments can be dismissed as straw-man fallacies, as they usually address themselves to non-entities such as "the left-handed brigade", "defenders of the liberal faith" and other homolefty conspiracies and cabals, which, since they don't exist, are entirley incapable of offering any counterarguments.

It is mainly their insistence on reducing arguments to such asisine labels as "lefties", "homos", etc., which render most of their contributions worthless, in my opinion.

Other commentators which would be considered "conservative" in a US-centric viewpoint, such as Konolia, usually stick to arguing about the merits of their and other's postions and rarely lower themselves to the "I know I am but what are you?" quality of 111, Paleocon, et al.
posted by signal at 9:54 AM on November 17, 2003


matteo, perhaps you're wet behind the ears, but this discussion hasn't started in this post, you know. It goes way back, and there is a search engine up there which you should use. Now let me ask you this: what was your own intention when you started the thread? Where's the limit? I say you were trying to hurt Paleocon and his right to express himself.

You invoke blacks and jews, whose issues are very different from those of homosexuals, to imply that conservative opinions are somehow connected to outright bigotry. This is clearly not true, but you seem to frame it this way.

Also, whenever I want to criticize a person or a group, I do so unequivocally. This unctuous veil of affected concern you present is, the way I see it, yet another attempt to curtail freedom of speech. It's the same pattern: you focus on one person, remove quotations from their context, take it to MeTa and wait for the public flogging to begin. Peer pressure and gay pack behavior do the rest! Again, that's censorship, and its evil mechanism has done much harm to this site in this past.

jonmc, about gays and AIDS , the pattern is there.
posted by 111 at 9:57 AM on November 17, 2003


111 translated: matteo, you ignorant slut.

"Also, whenever I want to criticize a person or a group, I do so unequivocally."

Bigotry unvieled, thank you very much.
posted by Wulfgar! at 10:04 AM on November 17, 2003


By the way, 111, since I'm not gay, I don't have knowledge of this "gay pack behavior" of which you speak. Do you dare care to elucidate or provide a link?
posted by Wulfgar! at 10:07 AM on November 17, 2003


111, you're like some incredible comedy-bot sent from the future. Keep it up! Do you have any albums coming out?

about gays and AIDS , the pattern is there.

Why subscribe to the New England Journal when you can get a copy of Baseless Assertions for free?
posted by Skot at 10:08 AM on November 17, 2003


This unctuous veil of affected concern you present is, the way I see it, yet another attempt to curtail freedom of speech.

Funniest thing I've read all day.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:11 AM on November 17, 2003


I say you were trying to hurt Paleocon and his right to express himself.

I'm not in favor of banning him, I never asked for it. I just wanted to know if we, as a coomunity, endorse that language and those arguments.
Just one user is in favor of a ban until now.
Just one.
Your "commie censors" straw man just vanished into thin air.
poof!

111 translated: matteo, you ignorant slut.

a half-truth

;)

This unctuous veil of affected concern you present is, the way I see it, yet another attempt to curtail freedom of speech.
compassion = censorship


What's the point of this thread?
I'm with you on this one Witty (which doesn't happen very often {wink}), what IS the purpose of this thread?
posted by Witty at 9:44 AM PST on November 17


are you agreeing with your previous comment, Witty, or you forgot to change to your login to better create problems in this thread? multiple identities anybody?
posted by matteo at 10:13 AM on November 17, 2003


You invoke blacks and jews, whose issues are very different from those of homosexuals, to imply that conservative opinions are somehow connected to outright bigotry.

Nope, bigotry knows no ideology. At least as far as I'm concerned, it has zero to do with "conservative viewpoints." And bigotry can be, at least somewhat defined as irrational hatred of an entire demographic group, the homophobia is certainly bigotry.

jonmc, about gays and AIDS , the pattern is there.

What pattern? Crop circles? That's not the gays, that's the freemasons.

If you wanted to make an argument about promiscuity and the permissive tenor of the 70's contributing to the spread of AIDS, maybe you'd have a leg to stand on, but like I said before, gays do not have a monopoly on promiscuity.
posted by jonmc at 10:19 AM on November 17, 2003


It's funny that the only criticizing 111 does is about gay people...I've yet to see disparaging statements about blacks, or jews or feminists or any other group from him. Paleocon at least is an equal-opportunity troll.
posted by amberglow at 10:23 AM on November 17, 2003


...a front where people can repeat their immoral leftist partyline....

I've got a problem with your repeated abuse of the word 'immoral', 111. In this case, you've attempted to smear the 'leftist party-line' (whatever that is) with it without any kind of elaboration, as though it was self-evident that it was so.

It is NOT self-evident, and you should explain a) what constitutes a 'leftist party-line' in your book, and b) what makes it immoral. Hell, while were at it, your definition of 'immoral' would be much appreciated. Please don't use the bullshit online dictionary, I want YOUR definition. Clarity is what I'm after.

I don't see how anyone can engage you in a half-decent discussion until you stop spouting toss-off lines that, under close reading, lack any kind of coherence, until you present an argument that isn't overflowing with pat assumptions about what is 'right and good.' This would be a good first step.
posted by attackthetaxi at 10:24 AM on November 17, 2003


joseph raz, in his book the authority of law said the following about `rights':
it may be thought surprising that one should have a right to do that which one ought not.

is it not better to confine rights to that which it is right or at least permissible to do?

but to say this is to misunderstand the nature of rights. one needs no right to be entitled to do the right thing. that it is right gives one all the title one needs. but one needs a right to be entitled to do that which one should not. it is an essential element of rights to action that they entitle one to do that which one should not. to say this is not, of course, to say that the purpose of rights of action is to increase wrong-doing. their purpose is to develop and protect the autonomy of the agent. they entitle him to choose for himself rightly or wrongly.

but they cannot do that unless they entitle him to choose wrongly.
which, despite his not-that-digestible style, is worth reading.

in other words, free speech don't mean squat if you're only going to let people say things that are correct. let this jerk say what he wants and then argue with. but don't censor him.
posted by andrew cooke at 10:25 AM on November 17, 2003


Well, I was very happy that matteo posted this thread and I think its point is a good one: to separate serious debate and well-thought out positions from pure hatred and vitriol.

I've been on Metafilter for 2 years (it seems longer) and some of this stuff got me so angry, I really considered just cutting out MeFi for good.

But then I realized it was probably good that I was getting so angry and its nice to have a forum where your ideas and beliefs are challenged. So even though paleocon, 111 and some other guy said things that really upset me, I am a stronger person for it. *whimper* I just think its hard when you're surrounded by a community of friends and like-minded people in the real world who automtically assume that everyone thinks like they do (whether liberal or conservative) and then you find yourself confronted with someone with a completely different world view and a nasty way of expressing it.

In any case, I say let them live! "Let thou not cast judgment on thy fellow MeFite without first casting judgment on thyself." - Psalms: 1415:12
posted by adrober at 10:50 AM on November 17, 2003


111, rather than circle the wagons of conservative defense,...

matteo is the one that attacked conservatives in his more inside comment. Because, as we all know, the thread was intended as nothing more than an opportunity to further separate what Mefi likes to think is right (the left) and what is wrong (the right).

Witty, I think the point is that there is a rude ignoramous out there that needs a spotlight thrown on what passes for that one's arguments. Etiquette/policy ... that's what it's here for.

So what. We're talking about one person... and maybe one other. I feel the same way about comments people make about Bush or his politics or the war. I would never think of starting a Meta thread over it. But when someone makes comments about the over-sensitive topics, like gays, race, etc., then some liberal cry-baby comes here to whine about it. It's ridiculous.

Who cares if Paleocon hates gays? Do you really care? Are you coming to Mefi to read nice pretty things about gays? There are people out there that think all gays should be put to death. Now as completely absurd as that idea is, that person should be allowed to say so on this site without somebody whining about HOW absurd it is in Meta. So what.

are you agreeing with your previous comment, Witty,...

Yes... exactly. Well done. Irony... a joke.

or you forgot to change to your login to better create problems in this thread? multiple identities anybody?

You wish Det. matteo.
posted by Witty at 10:53 AM on November 17, 2003


Metafilter: We have no idea what "Pyrrhic" means
posted by UncleFes at 10:58 AM on November 17, 2003


What's the point of this thread?
I'm with you on this one Witty (which doesn't happen very often {wink}), what IS the purpose of this thread?
posted by Witty at 9:44 AM PST on November 17


Funniest.
MetaTalk.
Comment.
Ever.

A serious statement on the dearth of "real Conservatives" here, if we have to bring in people with Multiple Personality Disorder to add to the count.
posted by wendell at 11:07 AM on November 17, 2003


A serious statement on the dearth of "real Conservatives" here

Sometimes, it can be a difficult and thankless job. I imagine most of them have fled for Freep, where they too can bask in the warm sunlight of affirmation and have their asses gently patted for thinking correct thoughts.

I, on the other hand, am apparently a masochist :)
posted by UncleFes at 11:16 AM on November 17, 2003


*pats UncleFes gently on the ass*
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:19 AM on November 17, 2003


Finally!

*returns ass-pat to mr_crash_davis with substantially more vigorous affirmation*
posted by UncleFes at 11:20 AM on November 17, 2003


I imagine most of them have fled for Freep, where they too can bask in the warm sunlight of affirmation and have their asses gently patted for thinking correct thoughts.

Which is exactly what "you" do here... but just don't seem to understand. This thread wouldn't exist otherwise.
posted by Witty at 11:25 AM on November 17, 2003


Can we just face up to the fact that people who want to blame AIDS on gays are looking for a way to justify their homophobia. The last I heard, the huge majority of AIDS cases occurred among heterosexuals in Africa, and I don't see anyone blaming the Africans for having sex.

Yes, it's true that infection rates and unprotected sex have been rising among young gay males, and it is a scary phenomenon, but if you look at what paleocon said in the original thread about how gays refused to moderate their behavior in the face of AIDS, it simply isn't true. Look at the rates of condom usage (and the number of sexual partners) today as compared to 1979, and tell me that a lot of gay men haven't changed their habits. If you look at the actual evidence, instead of your own hatred of gays, it's tough to deny that if more information had been available sooner, more people would have changed their habits sooner, and fewer of them would have died.

I do not think that people like paleocon should be banned, and I don't think (111's whinging aside) many people here feel that he should be banned. When someone says something that displays as much ignorance as he displays, you have two choices: provide a reasoned response or ignore. In the case of paleocon, a reasoned response is unlikely to help, as his mind is firmly made up, so ignoring him may be the wiser course, unless you're afraid that by leaving his assertions unchallenged, more open-minded people are going to believe the rubbish he's spewing.

As for all of the complaining about what a left-leaning haven MeFi is, I haven't seen a lot of conservative voices being banned here. Sure, most people here are more on the liberal side, but what would you have us do about that? Would you perhaps like some sort of affirmative action quota system wherein we only let conservatives have new memberships until the percentage of conservatives here is the same as that in the general public?

There is nothing inherently wrong with a site being left leaning. If you don't like it, your best option is to leave. Please note that I am not telling you that you have to leave or suggesting that you be banned. I am merely pointing out that if MeFi is a liberal site, liberals have a right to their own points of view also. You don't see me joining lucianne.com so that I can bitch and moan about how liberals are underrepresented there.
posted by anapestic at 11:27 AM on November 17, 2003


There are people out there that think all gays should be put to death. Now as completely absurd as that idea is, that person should be allowed to say so on this site without somebody whining about HOW absurd it is in Meta.

Why would one be allowed to? Because you are American? Writing stuff like this on a public website is a criminal offence in the country where I live.
Gay, black, Jew, whatever.
posted by ginz at 11:28 AM on November 17, 2003


If you don't like it, your best option is to leave.

AmericaMetafilter: Love it or leave it!
posted by UncleFes at 11:33 AM on November 17, 2003


spunkbubble trumps unctious veil, snatching vic torrey from the jaws of the feet!
posted by quonsar at 11:34 AM on November 17, 2003


matteo is the one that attacked conservatives in his more inside comment. Because, as we all know, the thread was intended as nothing more than an opportunity to further separate what Mefi likes to think is right (the left) and what is wrong (the right).

I don't see him saying anywhere that all comments from the right are terrible, only that these ones are particularly grievous ones, something that perhaps shouldn't be tolerated simply in the name of "intellectual" diversity. I wonder, though, about your immediate identification with him simply because he's of the same political spectrum as you. Personally, I his views strike me as the pointless ramblings of well-off suburbanites over dinner, railing against the poor for not pulling themselves by their bootstraps. Regardless, I wouldn't ban somebody for having an alternative viewpoint to my own, but I would chastise them for being hateful and intolerant. I also laugh at people who use "communist" as an insult.

Carry on, comrade.
posted by The God Complex at 11:38 AM on November 17, 2003


As for all of the complaining about what a left-leaning haven MeFi is, I haven't seen a lot of conservative voices being banned here.

I'm not bitching or complaining; I don't really care (speaking for myself).

Sure, most people here are more on the liberal side, but what would you have us do about that?

Nothing... other than to stop racing to Mefi every time somebody makes a claim that the majority here doesn't agree with... regardless of how absurd. That's why I don't understand the point of this thread, if not to openly expose "one of the others", making sure that he/she is now on everyone's shit list. It's just wrong and unfair.

It's like, if everyone didn't get a chance to read Paleocon's comment(s) in the original thread, well they sure do get that chance now. Maybe people skipped that thread for a reason. But since his comments are the text of the Meta post, they can't very well skip it now. Save it for the more inside at least.

Why would one be allowed to? Because you are American? Writing stuff like this on a public website is a criminal offence in the country where I live.

I don't know where you live, but I find that hard to believe.
"All gays should be put on a rocket and shot into space!"
THERE, I said it. How is that illegal, even wherever it is you live?

I don't see him saying anywhere that all comments from the right are terrible,...

Ok, that was the wrong choice of words on part. I was simply trying to point out that, if we're going to bother calling someone out for their comments (which I hardly condone), let's at least keep the labeling to a minimum. By calling Paleocon a conservative the way he did, it suggest that he/she speaks for all of us. I think we'd be better off calling out the PERSON, if at all.
posted by Witty at 11:47 AM on November 17, 2003


I propose we get this thread back on track: paleocon is not a good contributor, but we should keep him for laughs.
posted by mcsweetie at 12:24 PM on November 17, 2003


I'm from the Netherlands. "Mein kampf" is forbidden here too. Free speach is subordinate to our anti-discrimination laws.
posted by ginz at 12:27 PM on November 17, 2003


"Mein kampf" is forbidden here too.

Really? That's sad, if only because it's an important piece of history.
posted by The God Complex at 12:38 PM on November 17, 2003


But you can always read the Shirer book (Rise and Fall...) to get the whole picture, TGC, instead of the manifesto that started it all (but i'm sure it's online somewhere to read).

Ginz, are a lot of books forbidden? Who decides which ones?
posted by amberglow at 12:41 PM on November 17, 2003


and a great coffee table book!
posted by adrober at 12:41 PM on November 17, 2003


ginz - I still don't see how a person's opinion about a group of people (or whatever) is illegal. Regardless, this (where I'm sitting) is America, I am an American, the site is located in America, the creator is American... so yes, I can, you can make a statement like the one suggested above.
posted by Witty at 12:43 PM on November 17, 2003


It's available for students/people to study at university libraries but you can't buy it in a shop or at a book market.
posted by ginz at 12:44 PM on November 17, 2003


Yes, but ideas shouldn't be banned. That doesn't mean they have to be available in public libraries, or that a place like Metafilter--which is privately run--have to carry it or aren't free to censor it. But the government censoring it on a state-wide level isn't something I'd support.
posted by The God Complex at 12:47 PM on November 17, 2003


We have government limits on our free speech here too, TGC. You can't make a snuff film, or shout "fire" in a theater, or "hi, jack!" at an airport, etc...It's reasonable that countries that were invaded/bombed/occupied by nazi germany would have limits on that shit.
posted by amberglow at 12:56 PM on November 17, 2003


amber: only nazi propaganda, this was decided after WWII.

witty: I am aware of that, but I think it's morally wrong to write or speak up in public about things that are clearly against (our) discrimination laws. What you think or say in private is a different thing. Freedom of speech stops where discrimination begins.
Get my drift? Arrgh, frustrating when I can't translate Dutch thoughts into English writing
posted by ginz at 12:56 PM on November 17, 2003


We have government limits on our free speech here too, TGC. You can't make a snuff film, or shout "fire" in a theater, or "hi, jack!" at an airport, etc...It's reasonable that countries that were invaded/bombed/occupied by nazi germany would have limits on that shit.

True, but we're talking about ideas on paper here. Surely I could write a novel with someone doing any of those things? Of course, that situation is different, since it was more of a manifesto than anything, and the ideology was followed through on. Still, I don't see the point of banning it. But, as it turns out, it seems they haven't, as it's accessible for studying purposes, just not purchasing purposes.

ginz: is it not legally available in any book stores, or do your stores simply not stock it because they choose not to?
posted by The God Complex at 1:08 PM on November 17, 2003


Freedom of speech stops where discrimination begins.

ginz, so you mean you don't approve of the anti-Dutch jokes in Austin Power's "Goldmember"? Even if they belong to an entirely specific context, you still think it's "morally wrong to write or speak up in public about things that are clearly against (our) discrimination laws"?

BTW, how did people in the Netherlands react to the movie? Has it been indexed along with "Mein Kampf"? Because we're clearly talking about two different types of discourse.
posted by 111 at 1:08 PM on November 17, 2003


Since nobody has touched on the very appropriate term "immoral" when characterizing sniveling socialism:

Socialism: Illegitimate, Not Just Inefficient

Capitalism is the only Moral System
posted by hama7 at 1:12 PM on November 17, 2003


And:

Capitalism vs. Socialism

-"America" stands for "capitalism."
"Capitalism" means "liberty."
posted by hama7 at 1:15 PM on November 17, 2003


for the last time, NO ONE WANTS SOCIALISM IN AMERICA!

it's 2003, you can relax.
posted by mcsweetie at 1:20 PM on November 17, 2003


TCG: It isn't legal to sell.

111: I didn't see "Goldmember". I've never even heard of it. But discrimination and making anti Dutch or what we do: anti Belgium jokes are two different things. Don't you agree?
posted by ginz at 1:24 PM on November 17, 2003


NO ONE WANTS SOCIALISM IN AMERICA!
I do, at least in terms of national healthcare. (and you could say we already have it in a limited way, with medicaid and medicare)
posted by amberglow at 1:24 PM on November 17, 2003


Writing stuff like this on a public website is a criminal offence in the country where I live.

Well, your country is stupid.

"Mein kampf" is forbidden here too. Free speach is subordinate to our anti-discrimination laws.

So is yours. Stupid.

Ignoring bad ideas, or hiding them away, will not make them disappear. Expose them to the light, so their ugliness can be seen clearly.
posted by majcher at 1:24 PM on November 17, 2003


Get my drift? Arrgh, frustrating when I can't translate Dutch thoughts into English writing

I understand your English perfectly. I just don't understand your law.

posted by Witty at 1:25 PM on November 17, 2003


Hmm, let's see,:

Can't buy Mein Kampf

vs.

Can buy pot

Tough call, tough call.

(hama7, whatever it is you're smoking, could you send me some? Thanks much.)

posted by signal at 1:28 PM on November 17, 2003



Well, your country is stupid.


That is a little much isn't it? I would not want to live under that system, but ginz seems quite happy with it.

for the last time, NO ONE WANTS SOCIALISM IN AMERICA!

it's 2003, you can relax.


Once I can get out of the Social Security system I will.
posted by thirteen at 1:40 PM on November 17, 2003


"Capitalism" means "liberty."

yes. for those with the capital to purchase it.
posted by quonsar at 1:46 PM on November 17, 2003


Expose them to the light, so their ugliness can be seen clearly.

111, please stand and tell us a little about yourself.
posted by quonsar at 1:51 PM on November 17, 2003


It's available for students/people to study at university libraries but you can't buy it in a shop or at a book market.
Sounds like the Dutch law is about profiting too not just censorship.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:00 PM on November 17, 2003


"Capitalism" means "liberty."

yes. for those with the capital to purchase it.


While capital purchases liberty, Das Kapital will only get you famine, terror and death. Take your pick!


Expose them to the light, so their ugliness can be seen clearly.
111, please stand and tell us a little about yourself.


Unlike you, I'm not feeling pretty today, but you lipstick lesbians are known to be quite vain.
posted by 111 at 2:01 PM on November 17, 2003


Capitalism is the only Moral System

That's the only one I read. It was so illogical as to bring about bursts of laughter.

Here's a quote from another essay on that site:

There is a reason why evil is largely contained in America, and why America has never initiated any war. It is because Americans explicitly are allowed to be rewarded for their effort. Americans are aware of the nature of production. It is epitomized by what we call, "The American Dream." The American Dream is the Dream of being allowed to pursue whatever happiness you want, with only your own talent and ambition determining the extent of your success. An American is fully aware that his success is in his hands. Indeed, it is this, the link between effort and success, the philosophical identifcation of production as man's means of survival, that is necessary for a healthy, successful society to exist.

It was written sometime in 2002. These essays do nothing to improve your position, hama7. They're logically vapid and inconsisten with research done about poverty in American (or any other capitalist state).

While capital purchases liberty, Das Kapital will only get you famine, terror and death. Take your pick!

I'll go somewhere in the middle, thanks.
posted by The God Complex at 2:04 PM on November 17, 2003


111ism: when you can't make a cogent argument about something, just slap a label on it.
posted by signal at 2:19 PM on November 17, 2003


Well, your country is stupid.

That is a little much isn't it?


I don't think so. Hey, my country is stupid, too. Only difference is, I don't go around saying that our stupid policies are good. (Although those dirty pinko liberal anti-gun peaceniks will probably say differently - and hey! Turns out, they have the right to!)


Can't buy Mein Kampf
vs.
Can buy pot
Tough call, tough call.


Not at all. I'll take free speech over getting stoned any day. What's worse, not being able to buy pot, or not being able to say that you should be able to buy pot?
posted by majcher at 2:22 PM on November 17, 2003


FWIW, I feel a lot more 'free' when in Holland than I do in the US. Averaged out of course. There's a lot more space in the US so it's more free in that sense but overall the Netherlands shades it. Gezellig indeed...
posted by i_cola at 2:22 PM on November 17, 2003


Not that I'd expect too many USians to understand that...
posted by i_cola at 2:24 PM on November 17, 2003


some of us get it, i_cola : >

and it's a tradeoff really: the Netherlands has a truly civil society that cares about its members, and a very high standard of living (higher than ours i think). So what if you can't buy nazi propaganda at bookstores?
posted by amberglow at 2:32 PM on November 17, 2003


majcher: my point with the pot was that there is no country which is "perfectly" free, and what in one country is seen as a basic right in another is restricted / forbiden.

For example, the DMCA violently limits free speech in the US, on matters which most other countries couldn't give a rat's ass about.

So which is more important, being able to publish Mein Kampf or an essay about the flaws in a new music encryption scheme?

My answer, of course, is: both.

The feeling I get in the NL (and agree about with i_cola) is of a much more free, open, tolerant state and society than any other I've been in.
posted by signal at 2:33 PM on November 17, 2003


I propose we get this thread back on track: paleocon is not a good contributor, but we should keep him for laughs.

Laughs, and the fact that he invigorates some of us by reminding us what we're fighting against. When I'm at work (which involves researching global health issues like AIDS) I need to be reminded periodically of the ignorance and stupidity that keep this epidemic rolling.

111 and paleocon irritate me on a regular basis, but hey: it's the grain of sand in the oyster that makes the pearl. Uhh... grasshopper.
posted by stonerose at 2:35 PM on November 17, 2003


"Expose them to the light".

majcher, that is a hard case to make in some countries. Eg, in the Weimar republic the Nazi programme was public and well understood - and popular and persuasive. Criticism from all sides was not effective in countering the message.

As it happens I agree with you on philosophical grounds, but arguing that hate speech will wither away under scrutiny is weak. History shows that hate speech can often prosper and grow under scrutiny.

Countries where this is a genuine danger are entitled to make their own collective minds up, yes?

as to paleocon: every village needs its idiot.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:39 PM on November 17, 2003


Wait, can somebody please remind me... Didn't somebody say not too long ago that when inflammatory accusations are directed to righties, they are supposed to just suck it up or leave?

So why should matteo etc. get a different treatment?
posted by VeGiTo at 2:45 PM on November 17, 2003


ginz - I still don't see how a person's opinion about a group of people (or whatever) is illegal. Regardless, this (where I'm sitting) is America, I am an American, the site is located in America, the creator is American... so yes, I can, you can make a statement like the one suggested above.

And of course we're all free to point out what a complete fucking retard statement that was. Freedom is good that way.

But of course then comes the whining about the homolefty conspiracy, at which point it appears you don't like the freedom game so much anymore.

Don't identify with a worthless time-wasting troll like paleocon unless you want to be thought of in the same light.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:51 PM on November 17, 2003


The benifit of the doubt that I try to have with everyone, including conservatives, is being shaken to a great degree by the willingness to defent statements like paleocon's.

For your own good step back and take off your 'my team vs. their team' blinders for a second and look at his statements for what they are.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:58 PM on November 17, 2003


*considers telling VeGiTaBlEhEaD to fuck off, then decides it's in the best interests of the community not to do so, resists the urge, begins to feel virtuous, starts liking the feeling, seeks out even greater and more intense virtuousness through self-denial, sexual frustration leads to mental confusion which leads to faux feelings of spiritual awakening, accepts jesus christ as his personal savior, joins republican party, votes for bush/cheney in '04.*

self censorship is a slippery slope. fuck off, vegetablehead.
posted by quonsar at 3:00 PM on November 17, 2003


Once I can get out of the Social Security system I will.

seriously, r e l a x.
posted by mcsweetie at 3:01 PM on November 17, 2003



seriously, r e l a x.


/twitches

^_^
posted by thirteen at 3:06 PM on November 17, 2003


> the Netherlands has a truly civil society that cares about its
> members, and a very high standard of living (higher than
> ours i think). So what if you can't buy nazi propaganda at
> bookstores?

Hmmm, the Netherlands. Isn't that where they shot that Pym Fortuyn dude?
posted by jfuller at 3:07 PM on November 17, 2003


But was Fortuyn shot because he was openly gay, or because he was very rightwing? How many homicides a year in the netherlands? how much gay-bashing? Compare those figures to here.
posted by amberglow at 3:17 PM on November 17, 2003


Talking about the Netherlands is letting ourselves be baited. We* allow the topic change, we lose.

* 'we' referring to the metafilter community as a whole, not any particular immaginary side.
posted by Space Coyote at 3:23 PM on November 17, 2003


> But was Fortuyn shot because he was openly gay, or because he
> was very rightwing?

Oh, I'm sure he was eliminated by EU authorities to prevent the right-wing takeover of the Netherlands.


> how much gay-bashing?

According to Fortuyn, a lot (and more with every new Moslem immigrant admitted.)
posted by jfuller at 3:29 PM on November 17, 2003


Hey wait, weren't we talking about smoking pot?

Well, two hours ago, we were anyway. You guys go ahead and bitch. I'm going back to the screensaver and twinkies.
posted by Samsonov14 at 3:29 PM on November 17, 2003


Space Coyote - If I'm defending anything, it is his right to say his stuff in a thread without being extraly-exposed in Meta for it. If that's what he thinks, that's what he thinks. He may be misinformed, but what he's saying isn't the most outlandish thing I've ever heard and certainly doesn't deserved to be called out for it.

...and what's your problem quonsar?
posted by Witty at 3:33 PM on November 17, 2003


> Talking about the Netherlands is letting ourselves be baited. We* allow the
> topic change, we lose.

SpaceCoyote sez "We can prevent the right-wing takeover of MetaFilter. We can do it!
posted by jfuller at 3:35 PM on November 17, 2003


I've changed my mind.

I hate you all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:48 PM on November 17, 2003


Alright, I've got to say something.

What we've got going here is likely that they aren't conservative because of their conservative beliefs, but because of their racist fears and assumptions. Which would be the beginning of the 'homolefty' accusations: they assume anyone who is a lefty is a homo, not that lefties can or cannot be homos.

Basically, they hold individualism more valuable than egalitarianism.
posted by stoneegg21 at 3:53 PM on November 17, 2003


...and what's your problem quonsar?

i need repaii and no admin will hope me.
posted by quonsar at 4:10 PM on November 17, 2003


Amberglow: My point would be that both are a distinct possibility; they're anything but mutually exclusive. I live in Canada, where we have a much better health care system than you chaps to the south, but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop complaining about problems with the health care system here. Frankly, I applaud the netherlands for much of their progressive social policy (suicide rights, etc.), but I still question the legitimacy of such censorship. On the whole, though, I agree with you, as I often do. You seem the reasonable sort ;).

I hate you all.

;(
posted by The God Complex at 4:12 PM on November 17, 2003


likewise, TGC : >
Dutch was one of the nationalities I would be if i had a choice, in that thread a few days ago--I think they're doing really well, esp. with social and medical and tolerance issues. Meanwhile, I'm hoping we're at last starting down the road to full national health here, esp if we take back the white house next year.
posted by amberglow at 4:27 PM on November 17, 2003


Witty, it saddens me that you are defending the rights of posters to discriminate against, not an individual for their ideas, but a group for their alleged character/personality/whatever.

And that they can be labelled, hated and attacked (first, verbally, then -???) simply for their membership of the group.

For spurious reasons (explain aids in africa before equating gays with that disease), debunked many times.

I would have thought there were more honourable conservative causes that you need to keep your powder dry (and your rep intact) for.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:27 PM on November 17, 2003


majcher: my point with the pot was that there is no country which is "perfectly" free, and what in one country is seen as a basic right in another is restricted / forbiden.

Agreed.

I'm not saying that America is perfect, not by a long shot, but I think that a lot of the basic ideas are sound, and it's shocking to me to find that many people from them ferrin countries have a fundamental disagreement with them. "Your country is stupid" was intended as hyperbole, and was not meant to disparage the many, many fine benefits that other countries provide to their citizenry. If I were to move, Canada or the Netherlands would be right up there on top of the list; but right now, as an American, I have the opportunity to help try to make this place a little less repulsive to the rest of the world, so I'm fine with where I am for now.

As for paleocon, I find him hateful and ignorant. I don't think that he should be banned, though - refute his garbage, or, better yet, just ignore it. DFTT.
posted by majcher at 4:58 PM on November 17, 2003


the creator is American

/deliberately misinterprets, and chuckles.
posted by kickingtheground at 5:25 PM on November 17, 2003


Fortuyn was not killed because he was "right wing", but rather that he wasn't raving left-wing enough.

Fortuyn spoke out against the Dutch criminal immigrant problem, rightfully criticized Islam, and was murdered for his views by a sophisticated left-wing progressive who just knew better.

Sound familiar?
posted by hama7 at 5:36 PM on November 17, 2003


yeah, actually. My observation has been that people on MeFi and 'liberal' Americans aren't really liberal by any yardstick but the American one. American conservatism is so six-steps off the deep end, that any shade of moderate thought looks downright pinko commie by comparison. Speaking as an existentialist anarch, I think I'm well situated to say that most people around here aren't particularly left-leaning compared to 'liberals' in other parts of the world. In fact, liberal Americans tend to be fairly conservative, by most standards. Really we're being dragged along by a country that doesn't think we're anarcho-capitalist enough.
posted by kaibutsu at 6:02 PM on November 17, 2003


But then I realized it was probably good that I was getting so angry and its nice to have a forum where your ideas and beliefs are challenged. So even though paleocon, 111 and some other guy said things that really upset me, I am a stronger person for it. *whimper* I just think its hard when you're surrounded by a community of friends and like-minded people in the real world who automtically assume that everyone thinks like they do (whether liberal or conservative) and then you find yourself confronted with someone with a completely different world view and a nasty way of expressing it.

In any case, I say let them live! "Let thou not cast judgment on thy fellow MeFite without first casting judgment on thyself." - Psalms: 1415:12
posted by adrober at 10:50 AM PST on November 17


Comment of the day, as far as I'm concerned, and justifies my faith in free speech and tolerance. (Although witty standing up for witty was right up there.)

There is nothing inherently wrong with a site being left leaning. If you don't like it, your best option is to leave.

Just in case anybody thought I was making this shit up.

I'm from the Netherlands. "Mein kampf" is forbidden here too. Free speach is subordinate to our anti-discrimination laws... I think it's morally wrong to write or speak up in public about things that are clearly against (our) discrimination laws. What you think or say in private is a different thing. Freedom of speech stops where discrimination begins.

*shudders*
And what majcher said.

in the Weimar republic the Nazi programme was public and well understood - and popular and persuasive. Criticism from all sides was not effective in countering the message.

Yes it was. The Nazi vote was diminishing and Hitler had no prospects of being elected when the old fool Hindenburg decided to put him in office thinking he could be controlled.
posted by languagehat at 6:05 PM on November 17, 2003


jfuller: spuriously changing the subject to more familiar / comfortable territory rather than answering a direct question or challenge irks me, no matter who does it.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:13 PM on November 17, 2003


and, yeah, 'capitalism is the only morality' was an incredibly shoddy paper. Take this quote, right at the beginning: "Do you find slavery to be immoral? If you answered 'yes,' as the logical opposite -- you must necessarily say that freedom is moral. There is no two ways about it: if slavery is immoral, then freedom is moral." I'm guessing that very few people find slavery to be immoral. Though I'd bet that most would find owning slaves to be immoral.

On "Socialism: Illegitamate, Not Just Inefficient," I have rather deeper arguments. Because it is fairly well reasoned, though built on some fairly dubious assumptions. The 'immoral socialism' the author is talking about is really the massive statist socialism put forth as an attempt to impose certain economic observations concerning small, essentially government-less communities onto the mega-states that have arisen in the age of capitalism.

In the section on "This Bread is My Bread," we can see one of the direct effects of such assumptions. The Cartesian thinker believes in the absolute self, which is something of an island, owing nothing to no one and pulled up by his boot-straps. To the non-Cartesian, who hasn't accepted this radical mind-body split, I am not seperate from the world I occupy - the two entities are inseperably entwined. 'Ownership' indicates merely a degree of entangledness, not an immutable right. To my mind, it would be wrong for me to take from you something that would cause you harm, but it doesn't matter a whit if I take something that you don't need. But just to be sure, I'll ask before I take it. The author isn't succesfully arguing the moral problem with socialism - he's essentially just missing the point and failing to recognize his own assumptions.

posted by kaibutsu at 6:23 PM on November 17, 2003


another email from a lurker:

i am george bush and after reading this moving thread , i am going to change my evil ways and try and govern this country for the benefit of the people.

i know it will be hard , but i feel that if i keep checking into this fine website , i will get all the help and suggestions that i need .

yours sincerely

george w. bush

posted by sgt.serenity at 6:39 PM on November 17, 2003


languagehat, according to this article the Nazi party went from 2% in1928, to 18%, to 32% of the vote in 1932. I don't call that 'diminishing'.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 6:47 PM on November 17, 2003


Cry baby cry
Make your mother sigh
She's old enough to know better
So cry baby cry
posted by the fire you left me at 7:07 PM on November 17, 2003


we wish, sgt : >
posted by amberglow at 7:10 PM on November 17, 2003


So it's been another hard day at work
and I've settled down with some homemade mac-n-cheese and a beer.
And I'm going a little berserk
thinking about how we'll pay for holiday shopping this year.

So I grab a few minutes to pay a visit to MetaTalk--
you know, I check in once in a while, though I'm not exactly devout.
And I try to navigate the arguments, assertions, and cross-talk,
and, like others, try to figure out what the hell this thread's about.

So, small woes aside, I'm a happy queer these days--
I've turned off the TV news channels lately, and I'm slowly going sane.
And I tell myself these elections don't affect me anyways.
I've got friends in the day, my man in the night, so really I can't complain.

But this thread makes me feel like something's missing from my life, I confess.
(It's not that the anti-gay thing bothers me--I find it rather dull and overdone.)
If you happen see this infamous 'gay pack,' could you please pass on my address?
Maybe this everyday life is for the birds--the immoral stereotype sounds a lot more fun.

See, it was bad enough growing up feeling isolated and alone
in the still-kinda-Old-South, because I wasn't normal and didn't fit in.
But if I'm going to be condemned, anyway, because I like to blow and be blown,
I'd like to enjoy at least a some of the hedonistic benefits of living in sin.
posted by troybob at 7:17 PM on November 17, 2003


I'm from the Netherlands. "Mein kampf" is forbidden here too. Free speach is subordinate to our anti-discrimination laws... I think it's morally wrong to write or speak up in public about things that are clearly against (our) discrimination laws. What you think or say in private is a different thing. Freedom of speech stops where discrimination begins.

*shudders*


Well, yes. But don't forget Rotterdam.
posted by the fire you left me at 7:21 PM on November 17, 2003


I don't call that 'diminishing'
...the Nazis more than doubled their Reichstag representation. When the votes were counted at the end of July 1932 they had won 230 seats out of a total of 608. Hitler thought his hour had come... But when Germany went to the polls for the general election of 6 November 1932 the Nazis lost over two million votes, which reversed their representation in the Reichstag from 230 seats to 196... For a moment the Nazis, impoverished, demoralised and divided, appeared to be on the point of disintegration... But it was the hapless Papen who finally brought down Schleicher. On 4 January 1933 he secretly met Hitler in Cologne, initiating an intrigue which was to bear the most bitter fruit in history.
From Piers Brendon's The Dark Valley.
posted by languagehat at 7:23 PM on November 17, 2003


Oh, we're never going to define some "limit" of acceptable behaviour on MeFi! The best we can do is make decisions from day to day and from thread to thread - which arguments are worth having, and with whom, and for how long, and hope that something good comes of it, or at worst that the resulting mess doesn't make mathowie pull the plug on MetaFilter forever.
posted by orange swan at 7:27 PM on November 17, 2003


And so ends another lesson in Nazi history. Join us next time, folks, when we examine Nazi Fashion: adequate night wear, or fashion faux-pas nightmare! Until then, I'm Roger Rogerson the Third.

languagehat owns you!
posted by The God Complex at 7:29 PM on November 17, 2003


orange swan says there's no easy answer, I say she's not looking hard enough! :)
posted by Space Coyote at 7:31 PM on November 17, 2003


I could introduce you to the "infamous gay pack,"
but you're better off with that man already in the sack.
To the homophobes and haters it may not be known,
but you're far more representative as your life has shown.
They think we're all aids-ridden pedophiles and freaks,
But it's their ignorance that comes out when they speak. : >
posted by amberglow at 7:34 PM on November 17, 2003


And so ends another lesson in Nazi history. Join us next time, folks, when we examine Nazi Fashion: adequate night wear, or fashion faux-pas nightmare! Until then, I'm Roger Rogerson the Third.


The Italian fascist were very stylish in Armani.
posted by the fire you left me at 7:36 PM on November 17, 2003


I've several friends [really] who are conservative yet are personally open-minded enough to accept and support a lefty homo [me] in their ranks, no questions asked. It's just as easy to lump a whole gaggle of we queers together as it is a certain political/moral spectrum. Individuals are often much more surprising in their warmth than a group. Any group.
posted by moonbird at 7:48 PM on November 17, 2003


I yield.

But still -- they kept more than three quarters of their seats. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the power of scrutiny of hate...

it's just a flesh wound!
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:50 PM on November 17, 2003


Not to interrupt a good discussion, but there's nothing conservative (except perhaps in the fundamentalist American journalistic perspective) about paleocon's repugnant opinions.

Paleocon is a reactionary and anti-humanist. Conservatism is mostly about accepting humanity in all its glorious, confusing diversity. Humanity includes homophobes and fascists, but their anti-humanist and intolerant views are the opposite of the conservative disposition, which is easy-going and deeply respects privacy and personal expression and values.

To quote Michael Oakeshott, who many think best defined conservatism in our time:

"(...)what makes a conservative disposition in politics intelligible is nothing to do with natural law or a providential order, nothing to do with morals or religion; it is the observation of our current manner of living combined with the belief (which from our point of view need be regarded as no more than an hypothesis) that governing is a specific and limited activity, namely the provision and custody of general rules of conduct, which are understood, not as plans for imposing substantive activities, but as instruments enabling people to pursue the activities of their own choice with the minimum frustration, and therefore something which it is appropriate to be conservative about(...)

(...)The office of government is not to impose other beliefs and activities upon its subjects, not to tutor or to educate them, not to make them better or happier in another way, not to direct them, to galvanize them into action, to lead them or to coordinate their activities so that no occasion of conflict shall occur; the office of government is merely to rule. This is a specific and limited activity, easily corrupted when it is combined with any other, and, in the circumstances, indispensable. The image of the ruler is the umpire whose business is to administer the rules of the game, or the chairman who governs the debate according to known rules but does not himself participate in it.

Now people of this disposition commonly defend their belief that the proper attitude of government towards the current condition of human circumstances in one of acceptance by appealing to certain general ideas. They contend that there is absolute value in the free play of human choice, that private property (the emblem of choice) is a natural right, that it is only in the enjoyment of diversity of opinion and activity that true belief and good conduct can be expected to disclose themselves(...)"
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:51 PM on November 17, 2003


metafilter :it is only in the enjoyment of diversity of opinion and activity that true belief and good conduct can be expected to disclose themselves
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:07 PM on November 17, 2003


123 comments! Wow.
posted by Keyser Soze at 8:11 PM on November 17, 2003


By the way, I accept everyones opinions on Metafilter no matter how nonsensical they seem to me. All I ask is explanation with representation.
posted by Keyser Soze at 8:20 PM on November 17, 2003


Thank you, Miguel.
posted by stonerose at 10:22 PM on November 17, 2003


Metafilter: Squashing diversity of thought since 1997.

I really don't think every right wing view expressed on metafilter should instantly get a metatalk thread. I also think that if Matt ever opens up Metafilter Memberships, we should openly try and ensure we get some Republicans.

All I ask is explanation with representation.
Actually you probably ask for explanation with representation for every opinion you disagree with, so there will be a bias.
posted by seanyboy at 12:26 AM on November 18, 2003


I agree with Miguel, Paleocon is not a right wing conservative. I called for a ban because Paleocon is a troll.

This is not a censorship issues. If he posted links with argued background, then good, but Palecon does not encourage debate, but merely polarises positions and ups the noise to signal ratio.

I say it once again. Ban Paleocon.
posted by johnny novak at 1:15 AM on November 18, 2003


Johnny novak - I'm against banning anyone, even paleocon and other trolls, because banning is a form of negative recognition. Do his rudimentary outpourings make any difference or obtain any influence on the rest of us? I think not. He's just a pimple. He's inarticulate, plagued by clichés, predictably prejudiced, boring, repetitious, simple-minded and hateful.

Let him be. Perhaps he'll evolve. Matteo's thread was well judged, precisely because it shamed us conservatives to react and members at large to take notice. Paleocon is, all things considered, a poster like anyone else. He chooses to participate in this way. Let him.

In a way, his reactionary, extremely right-wing "opinions" legitimate all our other opinions. He's "token"; to be pitied; to be passed over; a dope.

He might go away - but we won't. Why ban someone who is so easily denounced; defeated and ignored?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:54 AM on November 18, 2003


miguel,

Matt has banned people before for similar behaviour. I can't see how he contributes to any debate.

Don't think of it as censorship, but more like throwing an obnoxious drunk out of a pub.
posted by johnny novak at 2:31 AM on November 18, 2003


Johnny: I see what you mean and no, he doesn't contribute. But would that obnoxious drunks in pubs were as easy to put up with or overlook as paltry, little written comments in threads! :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:49 AM on November 18, 2003


Wicked! Get them spleens venting! Poofs will be the death of us all!

Seriously, though. Intelligent people have recently, until this tread, started to ignore 111 (who, by the way, should try reading Matthew, Mark, Luke and John one more time and start asking himself What Would Jesus Say before spouting anymore godless bullshit). As far as I could work out, no intelligent people have ever taken Paleocon seriously at any stage (although I'm dissapointed to see this thread has inspired an ICBM launch by hama7, a member who's humanity switches on and off like a stock-ticker LED).

Forget left/right people. Think centrist/extremist. Centrists recognize the role a diversity of political opinions have to play in constructing healthy, modern western societies. They value the freedom of other citizens to vote for whatever damn party they wish. I'm an Australian who generally votes for progressive parties, but I recognize that there's a natural cycle, whereby Labor establishes friendly health, education, social and arts systems for a decade or so, then the conservative party spends a decade or so balancing the budget and trying on a bit of tough love. It's the way the system works in every democratic country - recognize the insanity of anyone wanting to change that.

Every country that has followed a democratic, two-party, best-parts-of-socialism-and-capitalism system has grown rich and powerful. We could have arguments about whether the USA is more evil than Sweden, but smart people know they both beat the hell out of Columbia or North Korea. Dumb-asses think communism or libertarianism are the only options. The failure of either system to ever work demonstrates how completely fucking stupid they are.

For the extremist libertarians out there: After the fall of the USSR, there were news reports that various shit-hole former Soviet states had descended into "anarchy". In truth, they descented into libertarianism. And the population rushed to restore order and government quicker than you can say Ayn Rand.

Most people around here are centrists. They're swinging voters. They don't hate people for being liberals or conservatives, and for the most part they realize it's a bullshit distinction anyway. They know for sure the extremists don't want to create a better world. Just ignore them. Don't ban them. Don't argue with them. You think you're going to change them? You think other smart people are even going to take their views seriously? Just have a chuckle and move on.
posted by Jimbob at 4:30 AM on November 18, 2003


Speaking of a form of negative recognition, poor little jfuller feels left out at not being included in this.

There, do you feel important now too, troll?
posted by amberglow at 4:48 AM on November 18, 2003


I'm not arguing, Jimbob, I'm...um...

ah, fuck it, hand me that battleaxe, will you?
posted by attackthetaxi at 5:25 AM on November 18, 2003


Actually, forget the battleaxe. Some strategically placed banana peels should do the trick.
posted by attackthetaxi at 5:29 AM on November 18, 2003


While I agree for the most part, Jimbob, it's "Colombia", dammit.
posted by signal at 5:35 AM on November 18, 2003


Forget left/right people. Think centrist/extremist. Centrists recognize the role a diversity of political opinions have to play in constructing healthy, modern western societies.

Whilst I think parts of your thesis make some sense, I have to disagree with your model for this, the direction of movement in Western societies has historically been progressively liberal, this has often been stimulated by those who have started at the extremes and whose views have eventually been taken up such that they have become the centrist viewpoint. For example, the Chartist movement in the UK, trade unions, early supporters of women's suffrage, slavery abolitionists. There are likely many things that are currently regarded as extremist viewpoints by large chunks of the population that won't be at some future date.
posted by biffa at 6:33 AM on November 18, 2003


After the fall of the USSR, there were news reports that various shit-hole former Soviet states had descended into "anarchy". In truth, they descented into libertarianism. And the population rushed to restore order and government quicker than you can say Ayn Rand.

*laughs heartily*
My friend, the "population" has no more say about what happens in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and other such Central Asian shitholes than they did under the Soviet Union; less, in fact, because at least then they could make their feelings known in local meetings and letters to the editor and maybe get some attention paid, whereas now they're either ignored or tossed in the dungeon. It's the former Soviet apparatchiks who "rushed to restore order and government" (read: consolidate and extend their power) in these places, which bear no more resemblance to libertarianism than did the old USSR. And if you're thinking about a Caucasian shithole like Georgia, the former Soviet apparatchiks there couldn't even restore order; they've lost big chunks of the country and the populace is doing its best to overthrow them.

Miguel: Thanks for the reminder of what true, respectable conservatism is all about. I've been meaning to read Oakeshott for some time; maybe I'll finally get around to it.
posted by languagehat at 7:37 AM on November 18, 2003


Conservatism is mostly about accepting humanity in all its glorious, confusing diversity. Humanity includes homophobes and fascists, but their anti-humanist and intolerant views are the opposite of the conservative disposition, which is easy-going and deeply respects privacy and personal expression and values.

Huh? I want to live in your world.
posted by rushmc at 7:52 AM on November 18, 2003


Absolutely all of the arguments above 1)evade the points from hama7's links about capitalism, democracy, freedom and morality and 2)fail to contradict the fact that the initial outburst of the AIDS epidemics was detected in the gay community.

They're [data from one of hama7's texts] logically vapid and inconsisten with research done about poverty in American (or any other capitalist state).

No kind of political system as caused as much poverty and large scale famine as socialism and populist regimes. Even some moderate european social security systems are falling apart. On the other hand, no country has created as much wealth as the USA (2nd highest per capita rate in the world etc etc). Poverty is a fact of life, which can only be properly alleviated in a capitalist system-- capitalism creates capital. Socialism creates a gigantic state and expands poverty enormously while promising to eradicate it.

I'm guessing that very few people find slavery to be immoral. Though I'd bet that most would find owning slaves to be immoral.

This is an embarrassing, desperate attempt to sound "logical" that is nothing but tautological. Slavery immediately evokes an ownership relation.

The Cartesian thinker believes in the absolute self, which is something of an island, owing nothing to no one and pulled up by his boot-straps. To the non-Cartesian, who hasn't accepted this radical mind-body split, I am not seperate from the world I occupy - the two entities are inseperably entwined. 'Ownership' indicates merely a degree of entangledness, not an immutable right.

Well, if self-identity and ownership are undefined for you,
who are you? Do you exist at all? If you're not separate form the world you occupy, how do you manage to type? If ownership is not an immutable right (in which case give us your address so that we can pick up some stuff), what is?
How can you be selective regarding natural rights?

Intelligent people have recently, until this tread, started to ignore 111 (who, by the way, should try reading Matthew, Mark, Luke and John one more time and start asking himself What Would Jesus Say before spouting anymore godless bullshit).

So Jimbob, the people who criticized what I said until now, even though their views are similar to yours, are not at all intelligent?

Most people around here are centrists.
Paleocon is a reactionary and anti-humanist.
There are likely many things that are currently regarded as extremist viewpoints by large chunks of the population that won't be at some future date.

The main trouble with the liberal, left-of-center frame of mind since Karl Marx is that it claims to have some prescient right of historical/semantic definition. In this sense, reactionary is whoever is against liberal assumptions, but this is not an argument at all-- it's just Miss Cleo-style wishful thinking.

Being wary of the homosexual behavior, for instance, is actually life-affirming, because the harsh truth is that sodomy and fellatio are unsafe sex practices, and neither of them lead to reproduction. So there is no humanism apart from the reality of nature, just as there is no progress apart from the realities of the free market among individual agents and individual enterprises.

BTW, saying Michael Oakeshott is the author "who best defined conservatism in our time" is ill-informed.

quonsar, you're not looking so pretty today. Could it be a PMS thing? Anyway, ask the gay folks above for some expert fashion and beauty tips and they'll make you feel like Malibu Barbie again!
posted by 111 at 8:14 AM on November 18, 2003


No kind of political system as caused as much poverty and large scale famine as socialism and populist regimes. Even some moderate european social security systems are falling apart. On the other hand, no country has created as much wealth as the USA (2nd highest per capita rate in the world etc etc). Poverty is a fact of life, which can only be properly alleviated in a capitalist system-- capitalism creates capital.

I think these arguments all too often fail to congratulate the USA for destroying poverty within its boundaries, well done for the reminder 111. Further plaudits must go to the US for assisting all those completely non-socialist regimes in South America to also so effectively deal with poverty.
posted by biffa at 8:36 AM on November 18, 2003


Being wary of the homosexual behavior, for instance, is actually life-affirming, because the harsh truth is that sodomy and fellatio are unsafe sex practices, and neither of them lead to reproduction.

No wonder 111 is so pissed in this thread:
the poor guy has never gotten any head.

Good luck on winning even straight guys to your life-affirming foundation;
some advice: don't tell them you've also condemned masturbation.

(And, no, I've got no plans to become the crude-stereotype 'mo;
life's plenty good when you have pals like amberglow.)

And while the Queer Eye guys have the talent to transform,
I'll admit that I'm quite hairy and unplucked, and my house looks like a dorm.
So say what you want, 111, about that Malibu doll,
but it pretty much condemns your schtick as outdated and banal.
posted by troybob at 9:05 AM on November 18, 2003


Poverty is a fact of life, which can only be properly alleviated in a capitalist system-- capitalism creates capital. Socialism creates a gigantic state and expands poverty enormously while promising to eradicate it.

Is this a joke?
posted by the fire you left me at 9:47 AM on November 18, 2003


troybob - i hope you never lose your muse.

You are the living example that counters the accusation from the right that progressives have no sense of humour.

Thank you mate (",)
posted by dash_slot- at 9:53 AM on November 18, 2003


lib·er·al
Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.


Unfortunately, a lot of very silly people (mainly in the US) have decided that it now means 'pinko leftie socialist'. So now we have terms such as 'centerist' for those who don't really want to be labelled as 'pinko leftie socialists'. Which mainly goes to show how off-kilter the US political spectrum is (as has been previously mentioned).

So jimbob has a point but biffa nails the heart of the matter quite eloquently. As does miguel. Hmm, a scientist and a writer. How nicely balanced.

I'm going to save the USA/Dutch freedom follow-on for a future thread...
posted by i_cola at 9:55 AM on November 18, 2003


I think these arguments all too often fail to congratulate the USA for destroying poverty within its boundaries, well done for the reminder 111.

What, biffa? Are you saying there's no poverty in the States? Have you visited an Indian reservation lately? Or talked to someone who live on minimum wage?
posted by orange swan at 10:35 AM on November 18, 2003


that's one missed joke, right there, mr swan.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:01 AM on November 18, 2003


Sigh. I hate it when I do that. We need some body language and tone of voice tags.

Btw, I'm a pen (female swan), not a cob (male swan).
posted by orange swan at 11:29 AM on November 18, 2003


Witty, it saddens me that you are defending the rights of posters to discriminate against, not an individual for their ideas, but a group for their alleged character/personality/whatever. And that they can be labelled, hated and attacked (first, verbally, then -???) simply for their membership of the group. For spurious reasons (explain aids in africa before equating gays with that disease), debunked many times. I would have thought there were more honourable conservative causes that you need to keep your powder dry (and your rep intact) for.

I never said that. I never said (or would say) that someone has the right to discriminate. I never said that people have the right to attack (assuming you mean physically) other people. I'm just saying, that I think people have the right to say whatever they want... as long as it isn't a direct threat of course. Perhaps I've let my example get out hand, but I just don't see where the need for this thread comes from... other than "look everybody, this person disagrees with the majority here and I think he's ridicualous to boot... so should you. So here's the story". To me, that's wrong.
posted by Witty at 11:32 AM on November 18, 2003


I'm still curious about which other login Witty meant to post from.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:08 PM on November 18, 2003


111: Well, if self-identity and ownership are undefined for you, who are you? Do you exist at all? If you're not separate form the world you occupy, how do you manage to type? If ownership is not an immutable right (in which case give us your address so that we can pick up some stuff), what is? How can you be selective regarding natural rights?

There's a certain tendency here in the computer-using world to believe that one's own construction of reality is in some way aligned with a deep truth which causes that construction to be true to the exclusion of others. What I'd like to demonstrate is that your ideas of a self separate from the world and private ownership are both constructed ideas, and that there are other interpretations of the world in which those ideas make no sense at all.

In fact, the ideas of a private self and private property as we deal with them today are very young ideas, created as recently as the fifteenth century. Perspective painting wasn't invented until the Renaissance, because until that point, perspective in painting - the idea of a single viewer outside of the scene (outside of the world!) looking in - didn't make any sense. This isn't necessarily a failure of the non-Western-modern mind, any more than it is a failure of your mind that you can't wrap your head around a world without a discrete separation of self and world. Speaking in terms of physical processes, I don't see any reason to believe in the existence of a self not entangled with the world. The brain is shaped by its interactions with the outside world - without those interactions, the brain, and the self, is just a useless glob of cells. Lungs are a reaction to a breathable atmosphere, calluses are a reaction to the hardness of the ground beneath my feet. The shape of my body and mind are reactions to and interactions with the world, and either is meaningless without the other. I exist in the world just as much as the world exists in me, and no more. Since such a two-way exchange exists, I am able to sit here and type these words to you now. The real question is how you would manage to type without a world to teach you your language!

As for the question of 'the immutable right' of private property, if there is no 'private,' then there is no private property. Since I am an equal partner with the world, the things I own are owned equally by the world. Perhaps moreso. We can talk about degrees of need, but we can never talk about an absolute right to a physical thing, because any ownership I partake in is partaken in equal amounts by the world. And if private property doesn't exist, how can you claim an immutable right to it? Might as well be an atheist claiming an immutable right to god's protection.

You say that I'm evading the points from hama7's articles. The first was, really, incredibly poorly reasoned. The example I cited was pointing to an instance of such poor reasoning. The author says 'freedom is right because slavery is wrong,' when slavery isn't wrong. Owning a slave is 'wrong', but how is a slave immoral? Having freedom is the opposite of being a slave, not the opposite of owning slaves. (wait, isn't that an immutable right?) The author's argument is fubar.

The second article is what I was addressing above. I'm not evading its points - I'm attacking its assumption of an absolute right of ownership. If that assumption is false, then the 'point' of the article doesn't really matter, since the arguments that follow collapse like a house of cards. You'll have to construct a new argument that socialism is morally wrong, I'm afraid.

posted by kaibutsu at 12:25 PM on November 18, 2003


I'm still curious about which other login Witty meant to post from.

me, too
but only Matt knows
posted by matteo at 1:05 PM on November 18, 2003


Well... believe what you will I guess. My attempt at being clever and silly just isn't apparent to you.

See, since I STILL don't understand the point of this thread, and rather than just re-posting that thought over and over, word for word, I thought it might be funny to post it as a response to myself. So either you really don't believe me, you're choosing not to believe me or you're baiting me into further explaining myself, just for kicks... which I'm obviously taking. I don't have multiple logins; scout's honor. I don't have near the patience, motivation or agenda for such shananigans.
posted by Witty at 2:14 PM on November 18, 2003


As for the question of 'the immutable right' of private property, if there is no 'private,' then there is no private property.

But there is, and there is. Except in communism or socialism where property is stolen by the state. It's pretty well outlined in the Declaration of Independence. Welcome to the present. Here's more:

The Morality of Markets - Walter Williams
posted by hama7 at 2:57 PM on November 18, 2003


See, since I STILL don't understand the point of this thread, and rather than just re-posting that thought over and over, word for word

See, you're getting confused again. It's your other login that doesn't like to re-post the same thought over and over, not this one.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 2:58 PM on November 18, 2003


mm hmm
posted by Witty at 3:02 PM on November 18, 2003


i think rushmc is right but then he usually is so not to surprizing i guess. I wonder if he would have been used for purposes other than helping the children? Nice work. It is a fine line in all this is like tipping a drug-dealer. Great one, you owe me a lunch, it's now all over me... The first recorded usage -- from a private house and look at the time Baghdad fell. Israel its 10pm- do you donate money to the child; don't recall Israel fighting too. Funny, the child for you. and am sick of fools like this on some news channel, why I find this product. Like it when the bigger ones fold, like American. What you described, can see your ID. I have to get around the world on the salinity of the world) needs, it's more fat kids. Were talking about soot out the...
posted by rushmc at 3:52 PM on November 18, 2003


Oops, dammit.
posted by rushmc at 3:52 PM on November 18, 2003


I agree with rushmc.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 4:24 PM on November 18, 2003


I've quoted myself at least once before and agreed with myself, but only because I thought the point I made to be particularly salient.

Actually it was a joke.
posted by The God Complex at 5:00 PM on November 18, 2003


My attempt at being clever and silly just isn't apparent to you.

Witty's other ID is "Misunderstood."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:54 PM on November 18, 2003


See, because his name is Witty, and he's not. It's a joke.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:55 PM on November 18, 2003


Me, I think hama7 and 111 are the same hilariously blinkered and slightly sad person. Hell, maybe Witty is too, for all I know.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:55 PM on November 18, 2003


I am but a poor Argentinian and people often ask me "Carlos, who is the person to follow on MetaFilter, for those who haven't got time for more?". I always give the same answer: Miguel. You just can't go wrong with him, imho.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:57 PM on November 18, 2003


Damn!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:57 PM on November 18, 2003


I am Sparticus!!
posted by elwoodwiles at 6:01 PM on November 18, 2003


No, I am Sparticus! (Here's my California Illegal Alien Driver's Liense...)
posted by wendell at 6:11 PM on November 18, 2003


ah HA!
posted by clavdivs at 6:12 PM on November 18, 2003


And don't forget to let me, Wendell, know if you see anybody make a comment using the 'wendellseviltwin' username.
posted by wendellseviltwin at 7:00 PM on November 18, 2003


got our eyes wide open, dude. ain't gonna happen on our shift.
posted by quonsar at 7:02 PM on November 18, 2003


Huh?
posted by wendell at 7:03 PM on November 18, 2003


Has anyone noticed (or has it already been publicly announced) that quonsar and Paleocon are neighbors?
posted by trharlan at 7:39 PM on November 18, 2003


Me, I think hama7 and 111 are the same hilariously blinkered and slightly sad person.

That binary 7 is pretty suspicious.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:43 PM on November 18, 2003


I always thought "Paleocon" was an obvious joke personality created by somebody to make fun of neocons. You know "paleo" as in "paleolithic. Ergo, 'Caveman Conservative.'

In this sense, I have read his comments as satire. Perhaps I am wrong...
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:38 PM on November 18, 2003


I am Magistron, Dark Lord of Undergarments...

Nope, still too unwieldy.
posted by The God Complex at 8:49 PM on November 18, 2003


I thought that for a while too, Joey. Problem is, people trying to make a joke usually slip clues in there somewhere, or fall out of character. I think he truly believes the shit he says. Don't let that detract from the humour, though...
posted by Jimbob at 11:30 PM on November 18, 2003


I'm languagehat!

[/beaten to death semi-joke]
posted by i_cola at 3:36 AM on November 19, 2003


Jesus you people* are hateful, and smug too.
*homoleftists
No wonder 111 is so pissed in this thread:
the poor guy has never gotten any head.

What has been accomplished? More rhetoric!?!
posted by thomcatspike at 5:51 AM on November 19, 2003


As is often the case, I'm late to the party - and caught on this sidebar:

(...)The office of government is not to impose other beliefs and activities upon its subjects, not to tutor or to educate them, not to make them better or happier in another way, not to direct them, to galvanize them into action, to lead them or to coordinate their activities so that no occasion of conflict shall occur; the office of government is merely to rule. This is a specific and limited activity, easily corrupted when it is combined with any other, and, in the circumstances, indispensable. The image of the ruler is the umpire whose business is to administer the rules of the game, or the chairman who governs the debate according to known rules but does not himself participate in it.

Possibly it is a contextual issue, but I'm having difficulty teasing out exactly what is Michael Oakeshott's definition of 'ruling'.. Given his statement about what it is not, what little is left for there to be governed?

I can recall a past professor's statement that we are conservatives when we pay taxes, yet behind the closed doors of our homes we are socialists when dealing with family and friends.

It seems to me that the best model of government to date is a mixture of both: The noninterferring conservatism coupled with the social network of liberalism.

While not stepping in the muddied pool of outlaying a flavor of morality as causation for the HIV endemic, I will point out that lack of sexual protection and multiple sexual partners did greatly influence the spread of HIV. That is fact and not disputed. It is also fact that certain groups and demographics perpetuated these behaviors more so than others. A moral witch-hunt this isn't, people have died from this disease. While you can derive your own implications from the possible correlations if you want, I believe a factual assessment of the reality of the situation is in order. Thankfully, others, not playing the name game themselves, have agreed, and in the past few years (at least here in the States), the rate of HIV infection has gone dramatically down. I'd like to think that people have become educated on the functions of transmission, and are taking 'protection'.

However, to me, it seems a point of irony that liberalism is, at least as I have read it in this thread, a redaction of facts of the matter. Yes, it's obvious that personal morality and 'trollism' has clouded many of the statements, but standing alone, many of the statements hold merit. According to the definition above, isn't it supposed to be the conservative view that doesn't interfere with the inner workings of our individual lives?
posted by jazzkat11 at 10:56 AM on November 19, 2003


Given his statement about what it is not, what little is left for there to be governed?

I would suggest that while the business of government is not to do a lot of the things outlined by Oakeshott, one of the things that it should do is to create the conditions that allow citizens the maximum scope to do for themselves the things that aren't in the purview of government. for example, government is not in the business of acting to make its citizens happy, but should rule such that the citizen has the maximum scope for making choices which lead to their own happiness (or fail to, but with the responsibility on the citizen).

It seems to me that the best model of government to date is a mixture of both: The noninterferring conservatism coupled with the social network of liberalism.

I'm not sure your suggestion relates to anything concrete in the real world. If you mean by conservative non-interference as an economic model then it is contentious as to how this manifests in terms of operation of the market, whether it is more successful than policies of increased interference and the precise model of how this non-interference applies. It also leaves the problem of how you pay for the social network.
posted by biffa at 3:44 AM on November 20, 2003


but should rule such that the citizen has the maximum scope for making choices which lead to their own happiness
Sure, that's great in theory. However, how does that logic hold when a citizen's choice for their own happiness impinges on the rights of another citizen?

If you mean by conservative non-interference as an economic model then it is contentious as to how this manifests in terms of operation of the market, whether it is more successful than policies of increased interference and the precise model of how this non-interference applies.
It is not as contentious as it seems. As I mentioned before, government's function is a mixture of non-interference and regulation. Even the staunchest Republican supporter of the government not regulating the market still pays apt attention when Greenspan sets interest rates.

It also leaves the problem of how you pay for the social network.
I agree. However, it's interesting to note the paradoxical situation of a non-interferring government in regards to something like HIV infection. According to Oakeshott, it is not the government's place to educate the populace about the prevailing causes of HIV infection. According to that same definition, should those who then contract the disease be left to die without hospital coverage or medical attention if they can not afford it?
posted by jazzkat11 at 12:19 PM on November 20, 2003


quonsar and Paleocon are neighbors
And you, trharlan, made a map showing how they can get to each others' places?!? ARE YOU CRAZY?!?
This can only end badly...
posted by wendell at 1:58 PM on November 20, 2003


They are one in the same. One is the dark side of his character, the other is Paleocon.
posted by The God Complex at 10:35 PM on November 21, 2003


Paleocon is the boil.
posted by homunculus at 10:59 PM on November 21, 2003


In fact, the ideas of a private self and private property as we deal with them today are very young ideas, created as recently as the fifteenth century. Perspective painting wasn't invented until the Renaissance, because until that point, perspective in painting - the idea of a single viewer outside of the scene (outside of the world!) looking in - didn't make any sense. This isn't necessarily a failure of the non-Western-modern mind, any more than it is a failure of your mind that you can't wrap your head around a world without a discrete separation of self and world.
Ille mi par esse deo videtur
O, it is godlike to sit selfpossessed
when her chin rises and she turns to smile;
but my tongue thickens, my ears ring,
what I see is hazy.

I tremble. Walls sink in night, voices
unmeaning as wind. She only
a clear note, dazzle of light, fills
furlongs and hours

so that my limbs stir without will, lame,
I a ghost, powerless,
treading air, drowning, sucked
back into dark

unless, rafted on light or music,
drawn into her radiance, I dissolve
when her chin rises and she turns to smile.
O, it is godlike!

Basil Bunting
posted by y2karl at 9:50 PM on November 22, 2003


Wow, I can't believe how many Americans are talking about their right to free speech here. Have you guys totally missed the whole 'Patriot Act' thing? Like, yo. You guys don't have much that resembles free speech anyway. So the Dutch can't get hate literature in the library; there's an increasing list of things you can't get from yours, too. And on top of the increasing censorship, what you manage to check out of the library is recorded in a nice little file on you by your ever-loving government, and they don't even have to warn you. The ALA is currently being threatened with losing it's non-profit status if it keeps fighting the government on free speech issues, too. Mmmmm free speech. God bless America.
posted by Hildegarde at 9:59 AM on November 24, 2003


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