About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unread


Sanction: 7, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 7, No Sanction: 0
Post 0

Monday, September 25 - 11:36pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

First of all, I don’t know why the National Anthem is played at sporting events. A football game is not a political event like an inauguration. Yet playing the National Anthem at sporting events is now commonplace and has, in turn, injected politics into them. So perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised that a few athletes have taken an opportunity to express their political views during the time it’s being played.

 

But what exactly does the National Anthem stand for? What are the protestors objecting to? Are they objecting to the nation's fundamental principles — to its Constitution and Bill of Rights -- for isn’t that what the National Anthem is honoring? It is not, after all, honoring the violation of those principles. And if their objection is not to the nation's fundamental principles, however imperfectly applied, then why are these athletes taking a knee at the symbolic expression of those principles?

 

The National Anthem has nothing to do with contemporary politics. It has only to do with America’s political ideals. Is it not therefore worth honoring?



Sanction: 11, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 11, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 11, No Sanction: 0
Post 1

Tuesday, September 26 - 12:50amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Bill, you, of course, are taking an intelligent, informed and logical approach to this issue.  I can't say the same of any of the atheletes I've heard interviewed (or the typical 'news' pundits commenting on the issue).

 

When that group of Marxists came to Columbia University in 1935, bringing their Frankfurt School's Critical Theory it was like an intellectual Pandora's box had been opened.  What was released has been evolving and spreading ever since - an ideological disease.  Some of the more recent offspring of Critical Theory are parts of political correctness:  "Ethnic Studies," "White Privilege," "Gender Studies" and so forth.  (Note: just because some of these 'concepts' are studied, taught and proselitized, they shouldn't be mistaken for a conspiracy.   Conspiracies, by comparison, are are weak, fallible and could never demostrate this level of longevity and effectiveness.  No.  Better to view this as an evolving, malevolent ideolgogical disease - and one that can manifest in individuals as a psychological disorder).

 

Political correctness is the heavy-duty weapon for cultural transformation and it includes creating a dissenting criticism for all things in the culture that bind us to any core values relating to individualism, rationality or liberty.  Tradition itself is attacked as part of the historical chain of values and ideas.  This includes symbols of our nation such as the flag or the anthem.  There is a kind of blindness in the evolution and application of whatever specifics arise in the far Left's emotionalism.  It is like a virus.... evolving in its own way, attacking, weakening, and even destroying its own host.  And all in an almost mindless fashion.

 

The motivations of any given actor, like one of the atheletes, isn't much use in explaining this phenomena.  They are more like deeply infected individuals.  And, as such, more like symptoms of the PC disease (and carriers). 



Post 2

Tuesday, September 26 - 3:12pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Steve - your book has been a huge help to me.  I'm largely duplicating what you said above but I'd like to take a stab at it. 

Taking the knee was started as a moral issue with racism as the exterior.  The unspoken or interior political component is the attack of traditions and institutions.  The public participation in the anthem, honoring the flag together, and enjoying an American past time are all targets.  What once brought us together is now used to tear us apart.  The initial political aim is to get the NFL to remove what now divides us - the flag and the anthem.  Since there will be less exposure to the anthem and flag it won't be long before schools become targets.  The flag and pledge will be removed because it makes people "uncomfortable."  Once the association with racism and bad feelings is complete leaders  will act to remove all traces of it in an effort to bring "unity" and "healing."

 

Aim I close?

 

(Edited by Tim Scobey on 9/26, 3:13pm)

 

(Edited by Tim Scobey on 9/26, 3:13pm)



Post 3

Tuesday, September 26 - 6:32pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Tim, I'm very happy to hear that you're getting good things from my book.  That's really nice to hear.  (I'm working on a new book - strictly on political correctness).

 

Are you close to understanding this issue?  Yes, absolutely!  I think you have it exactly right. 

 

In the absence of logic, the Left often uses unwarranted associations for the tactic of demonizing their opponents (people, concepts, and symbols).  And the level of irrationality can be stunning.  How does someone make the leap from an unsubstantiated, non-specific claim of some kind of nation-wide racial oppression to damning our national ideals as symbolized by the flag?  (Bill's post above identifies the mistakes very clearly.)

 

We find ourselves trying to interpret the underlying principles at work in minds that don't grasp principles as products of logic.  It puts us in the place of attempting to understand effects and trends... much like epidemiologists trying to understand the destructive effects of a virus as it works its way through an area.

 

We know that the football player isn't some intellectual arch-enemy trying to change the culture for the purpose of introducing socialism.  Instead, for him, emotionalism is the substance of his tribal way of understanding the world - it is how his morality is held and transmitted.



Post 4

Friday, September 29 - 4:48amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

They who kneel believe they are protesting President Trump, his policies, and the ideas they allege he has.

 

However, since when does standing at the national anthem mean you support the current president, his policies, and his alleged ideas? Regardless of what it means to the kneeler personally, kneeling disrespects the men and women of all color who honorably fought -- some dead and wounded -- to protect the right to free speech, which those who kneel are exercising. Standing respects them.

 

Tim Tebow kneeled, more for his religion than disrespect of Obama. He was mostly booed.



Sanction: 2, No Sanction: 0
Post 5

Friday, September 29 - 9:33amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

With tribalism comes group think.... which really isn't "thinking" but rather repeating group-cant, faith-based utterances (even if the faith is unrelated to any known religion), and emotional rants.  It isn't an accident that so many progressives demonstrations occupy themselves with mindless chants.  The use of logic is reduced to getting most statments to roughly relate to the conversation at hand and be at least somewhat grammatical.  But the logic required to think critically and to think independently has been given up - a tribal membership requirement.

 

This lack of reasoning is dangerous to our culture.  It allows - even encourages - conflict while removing the needed means for intelligent conversation.  There are people with deep angers, but no real understanding of those they are angry with.  They 'think' they have 'reason' for their anger, but no longer have the means to examine their beliefs.  They want to bring about change, but they have tossed away concepts like 'consistency' and 'causality.'

 

Huge numbers of people have become like The Borg.  Selected pieces of progressive ideology that they have accepted become like an infection that repeatedly encourages them to shut down independent thought till they have joined the collective mind.  As an example, in many parts of Black subcultures we see the ideas of white privilege, ongoing racial oppression, race-based inequality, and systemic racism - all alleged to be the heart and very nature of America today - are the elements of progressivism that individuals choose to program themselves with till fully assimilated into their wing of the progressive Borg.  A few of them hold positions in today's culture that get them into the news.... like those athletes taking a knee.

 

Because progressivism isn't just a set of beliefs, isn't just a political movement, isn't just a part of some people's personal identity, but is also a way of thinking, it can affect the way a person uses their consciousness at a deep enough level to alter them psychologically.  Progressivism, when someone chooses to take it in, and chooses to pursue it with enough intensity, is like an infection that can progress till the person suffers repeated disconnects from reality - a form of delusional 'thinking.'

 

Ideas drive history.  But, of necessity, they do from inside of humans.  And we humans are subject to emotions and to motivations that can be destructive.  Bad ideas that mate with destructive emotional patterns and do so in way that spread through a culture while evolving towards whatever succeeds in convinving others to join a destructive movement whose theme is anti-rationality, anti-individualism and anti-liberty is a very dangerous thing.  Many Objectivists and a few of Conservatives have discovered and articulated the principles behind progressivism and its danger, but not the blind, viral, mental-emotional disorder nature of it that lets it spread without the need for any over-arching conspiracy.

 

Back before the beginnings of history, collectivism was made to work using shear force.  Over time, force was combined with some form of faith (faith used to subdue the victims minds and will to resist.)   This proved more effective.  Social evolution was selecting for the most effective mechanisms in the political ecological niche of totalitarianism.  The move was to get the populace to whip itself and thus require fewer political overseers.  Progressivism gets people to join there Borg by having them change more than just some primary moral positions, but also their way of thinking and interacting.   They accept the very idea of being overseen by the elite and join in a crusade to condemn anyone who doesn't agree.  It can only succeed fully - and the social evolution will move towards - the abandonment of reason and independent thinking.



Post 6

Saturday, September 30 - 11:25amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

VFW Post #3345's response to players kneeling during national anthem

 

Dated well before President Trump's remarks.



Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 7

Sunday, October 1 - 10:21pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Sorry, but the idea that the playing of the national anthem at sporting events signifies respect for the Constitution and its limits on government power, is pure non-sense. 

 

The hyped up "patriotism" at sporting events, in schools where the Pledge of Allegiance is or has been recited, and at western rodeos is the product of the American war state. "Patriotism" washed over American culture, starting with the First World War; and it engulfed us again in the Second World War, during George HW Bush's invasion of Iraq, and in the wake of 911. Today patriotism has literally nothing to do with respect for the limits on government power spelled out by the Constitution. After all, the great majority of Amerians are not aware of and do not understand the importance of limits on state power. If by some miracle the limits were once again respected by law, Americans would angrily and stridently object. 

 

At rodeos, they fly attack helicopters over the stands after playing the national anthem; the crowd goes crazy, cheering, waving their arms, celebrating American power. To anyone so asleep they cannot grasp the obvious, the celebration of American power is about "freedom", but the term has no objective meaning to people. "Freedom" means American power in military engagements, killing and destroying any so targeted. Freedom means supporting the troops and honoring those who sacrifice. Freedom means thanking military, police and firemen "for their service".

 

The giving thanks for "service" has nothing to do with the maintenance of individual freedom at home; people are not friendly to that idea. Just try arguing that monopolies are products of government intervention, that licensing laws protect professional cartels, that competition protects consumers, that government spending cannot cause economic progress, that social security is a welfare program that should be phased out. Those ideas are not deserving of protection to cheering football and rodeo fans and others; what they cheer is US military power, that they believe shines glory on them.  

 

This infatuation with the power of the U.S. government to wage war and win, negelects any thought about what constitues just or unjust wars. The concept of individual rights is largely lost to Americans, and so the issue of whether some particular military action is aggressive or defensive never occurs to anyone. Sorry to say this, but that characterization also applies to most who frequent this website, in my experience. 

 

I don't know how to stir you folks to think. American military action killed 3 million Vietnamese peasants; it killed, or gave impetus and support to the killing, of half a million in the Phillipines in the Spanish American war; and I have read somewhere that to date, US military actions have killed a total of 4 million muslims. I don''t know to exactly what extent these claims are correct, but the number of deaths is large enough that my central point stands. These wars have nothing to do with freedom for Americans. 

 

Objectivists who applaud the war state claim to favor individual freedom. However, trampling the rights of Americans was the currency that paid for prosecuting the wars mentioned above, plus the First and Second World Wars  (neither of which was fought in defense of American freedom from an aggressor: please read about Pearl Harbor and FDR's persistent campaign to provoke Hitler into attacking US military ships on the north Atlantic).  None of these twentieth century wars could have been paid for without massive taxation and inflation, a tax of another kind. The First and Second World Wars, Korea and Vietnam, all used drafted soldiers--those are slave soldiers, of course--as cannon fodder. Read the eye-witness account of William Manchester, who was a fighting marine in the Pacific campaign, wherein the conquest of islands routinely required the sacrifice of huge numbers of American soldiers, often more than 40% and sometimes two thirds or more, of the tens of thousands of war slaves forced into the attack against the entrenched Japanese. 

 

I have yet to read an honest acknowlegement of such obvious facts by almost anyone on this site. It is as though some people simply refuse to see that which upsets their customary view of the world. It is as though people lead with their feelings about such matters and demand that reality adjust to their temperment. 

 

We are becoming a hard core authoritarian state, and not slowly; but you folks wring your hands about mystics of the left refusing to salute the flag. Talk about cognitive impairment.



Post 8

Monday, October 2 - 12:32amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Mark,

 

I think that your last post was as much an emotional outburst as the cheers and shouts being made by the "patriots" you excoriate.  ("...you folks wring your hands about mystics of the left refusing to salute the flag. Talk about cognitive impairment."  Excuse me!  I am one of those 'hand-wringers'.) 

 

Bill opened by saying, "First of all, I don’t know why the National Anthem is played at sporting events. A football game is not a political event like an inauguration. Yet playing the National Anthem at sporting events is now commonplace and has, in turn, injected politics into them."  He did NOT make a claim that playing the national anthem at sporting events signifies respect for the Constitution and its limits on government power - that connection is a straw man you put together.

 

I'm quite certain that the mystics of the left AND the mindless worshipers of American military power both fail to understand that any symbol representing our unique nation, is a symbol that stands for the first nation to ever institute government for the sole purpose of protecting individual rights.  And my concern has never been a blind worship of military power, of the flag, or our nation right or wrong, but always about the attack being launched against reason, individualism and liberty - read what those who are "taking a knee" and their supporters are espousing.

 

There are the religious right, the hawks of the national-security right, the left, the populists, and political nuts of nearly every flavor imaginably.  And each of them assign their own meanings to the symbols of our nation because they have their own ideological view of the nation.  There are some truly awful, and hugely stupid political beliefs out there.  Some are hateful of what is good in our nation and some love what is, or was, wrong about our nation.  And that is all emotional bullshit - not reasoning. 

 

We must see that intersection between the ideas of a limited government fighting to protect individual rights and the historical events and heroic actions that actually created and implemented the constitution.  If we value individualism, liberty and reason then we want to feel a pride in what was, and what is, good in our nation.  If we don't, then we have lost real, concrete expressions of what we should hold as a poltical ideals. 

 

Just as there is purpose in art - making concrete those values we could otherwise only experience as abstractions and thereby giving us emotional fuel - so a love of what is, and what was, good in our nation empowers us to fight against what threatens those values.  There are things that we SHOULD feel patriotic about.  The left wants to kill all heroic impulses, all connection to any expression of liberty.  The right are divided between those that are defending a past they don't understand, and those who worship naked force and destruction.  They are both wrong.

 

"We are becoming a hard core authoritarian state, and not slowly..."  That is very true. 

 

But to fail to see that progressives, with their political correctness, are acting as the modern-day, leading edge of Marxist thought and are the greatest threat to reason, to individualism, and to liberty that civilization has ever faced, is just plain short-sighted.  Look at the support given to a "Democratic Socialist" running for president on the platform of redistribution and complete disdain for any concept of property.  Look at the universities where free speech is under attack.  Look at the unelected, regulatory state.  Look at the progressive judges that violate the law to support their ideology.  The rule of law is disappearing under unrelenting attack... and you are accusing contributors to RoR of leading with their feelings because they won't acknowledge your concerns about the facts of past wars?

 

I'm pretty sure that we all understand how authoritarianism can and has been advanced by arousing patriotic fervor.... I doubt that there is a nation on earth where patriotic emotions haven't been manipulated by politicians.  Rand saw the parallels between Nazi Germany and US politics.  But that doesn't mean that all nations are equally good or equally bad.  And feeling patriotism for this nation as compared to a great many other nations seems to be an obvious response from its citizens.  Despite our growing trend towards despotism, we still rank heads and shoulders above most other nations. 

 

The hyped-up patriotism of the right (and of the populists) and the hyped up hatred for our country from the far left are equally emotional and beside the point.

 

If we can't find a deep emotional attachment to what does make our nation's history different from any other on the planet, we have lost the psychological substance of valuing what gave America the freedom that you rightly point out is being lost.  The flag and the anthem are symbols.  I don't give a damn if the left hates them or the right misunderstands them.  I know what they REALLY stand for.



Post 9

Tuesday, October 3 - 5:08amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Mark: I don't know how to stir you folks to think. American military action killed 3 million Vietnamese peasants;

 

This is absurd -- as if all Vietnamese deaths were caused by Americans. Were no South Vietnamese killed by North Vietnamese or vice-versa? R. J. Rummel's Statistics Of Vietnamese Democide is not easy to decipher, but Mark's assertion doesn't pass my smell test. There are also some death statistics here. American soldiers certainly did not kill all those 254,256 ARVNs! Vietnamese deaths caused by America's military is a small fraction of the 3+ million.

 

Emotional outburst, indeed!

 

(Edited by Merlin Jetton on 10/03, 3:15pm)



Post 10

Tuesday, October 3 - 6:07pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

I have not read your two posts in response to mine yet, but I bet neither responds directly to the points I raised. Now. let me look. Nope, no response.

 

Steve thinks I am all emotional, because I think all the flag raising and whooping for attack helicopters is disgusting worship of the American military state. The machine that has murdered millions of helpless people, a fact that is incontrovertible. Most Americans--over 90% easily--are okay with all this and about half of them actively cheer it on. Bill seems okay with it. Steve too, for all I know. Well, surprise: I don't approve. 

 

Steve imagines that his feelings about the flag somehow negate the points I carefully and methodically raised. No. 

 

Merlin doesn't care a whit. Three millions murdered? Naw. USA!!! USA!!! Not a thought about what constitues injustice in warfare. Just his pretense that American wars are Just, because they are American.  

 

No wonder nobody visits this site.  Count me out.

 

(Edited by Mark Humphrey on 10/03, 6:31pm)



Post 11

Tuesday, October 3 - 6:22pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Mark: Your posts validate my thesis.

 

His reply is a great example of confirmation bias.



Post 12

Friday, October 6 - 7:15pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Those athletes who provocatively get in the public's face, and take a knee, seem to be essentially arguing that America, whites, Republicans, Trump, the police, and NFL fans are anti-black racists. Nothing could be outrageously further from the truth. This is the pot calling the porcelain black.



Post 13

Saturday, October 7 - 3:49amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Mark: Merlin doesn't care a whit. Three millions murdered? Naw. USA!!! USA!!! Not a thought about what constitues injustice in warfare. Just his pretense that American wars are Just, because they are American.        ...         Count me out.

 

Oooh, he's a mind-reader, but a lousy one. That Americans murdered 3 million Vietnamese is patently absurd. The stats I showed above proves it dead wrong. Do I believe it was a just war? No, America's involvement was a result of awful political decisions, mainly by LBJ along with a few of his pals. 

 

Good riddance!

 

(Edited by Merlin Jetton on 10/07, 6:57am)



Post to this thread
User ID Password reminder or create a free account.