We don't pretend to accept the cultural milieu of our times. We know that ideas shape a culture, for better or worse, and that how things are now, is not how they have always been, nor ever will be.
We recognise Western culture as a unique achievement in the history of the world. Not simply because it was Western, but on account of the unprecedented glory & range it brought to human existence; of personal freedom, standard of living, technology, and the arts. What powered it, what gave it its vitality and greatness, were certain ideas, and the struggle to rightly establish those ideas in practice; of individual freedom, of independence, of respect for reality, of the value of getting to the truth - rather than inventing it.
These ideas have been besieged intellectually, ethically, politically and aesthetically. While most in the West still live well under their motive power, their intellectual base, and understanding, survives only in silent outposts, while the mainstream is a confused, noisey mix of contradictions, and catchy, yet meaningless, slogans. We live in a culture riddled with the result of their decay; in the main, a quite dull soup of petty resentment, and its associated pain. A stark contrast to a backdrop of vast technological power & wonder.
We take ideas seriously, and cannot pretend we are part of this flow. We are in opposition to it. An intellectual opposition like unto war - a war of ideas. Fought, not with bullets and bayonets, but with better ideas.
Life matters. Thus, ideas matter. History is a record of good ideas lifting human life to unprecedented heights, and bad ideas locking in an enduring stagnation, at the cost of individual life, physically & spiritually.
Because that is a true description of the nature of our intellectual opposition. What we think is not widely accepted (though often believed in secret) and our opponents won't just capitulate. They've already got themselves entrenched in a position, and they're stubbornly resistant. Fair enough, but we don't want to give them the impression that they're secure & unchallenged in that position. And in many cases, we differ with our opponents on premises at such a basic level, that there really is no common ground for diplomatic cocktail parties.
We expect and welcome - even hope for - opposition. We're not omniscient; but we do know what we think, and are convinced we are right, in the main.
It's not personal. It's the advocates, or promoters of certain ideas.
Advocates of irrational ideas; ideas that promote the initiation of force against those that do not share one's views, or aren't getting with 'the program.' Any whose ideas would repress, or silence, free speech or free enquiry. Any whose ideas result in the slavery of men to men, or chain an individual to the 'important' plans of the more numerous group. And any peddler of philosophically disguised petty resentment.
Which is really only a miniscule, yet influential, portion of the population.
Simple. A culture that is consciously aware of -
Consequently, the production of a culture of respect; respect for what is real, and respect for the right of each person to their life.
In other words, a culture that is consciously aware of the distinction between mind, things & persons. One that "minds the gaps" so to speak.
From this basic awareness, most problems will, given time, take care of themselves; for under these conditions it is possible to live as a human being. Which is what it's all about.
And furthermore, a meaningful vitality would permeate such a culture, not ending the reality of effort, conflict & struggle, but generating an approach to life that would resist & reject all variations on the old age theme that, in order to survive, one must bind up others and so accept bondage oneself.
A civilisation in which individuals act, create and move, with an awareness of the sacredness of an individual's liberty to choose, to act on those choices, and to pursue their own happiness on earth. A benevolent culture of sincere good will between free men & women. A culture, fresh with a human spirit that is crisply intolerant of jealousy or petty resentment. A culture of respect & honour - that doesn't make a legal mountain out of the petty, or try to use law to change a person for 'the better'. A place where it's natural to be human - to think, to explore, to build, to relate voluntarily, to love and to enjoy the wonder of it all.
We have countries that are running on the deposits of the past; like an aircraft carrier drifting on momentum, after the engines have stopped.
Keep an eye on the 'Terrain' section for a soon to be released piece entitled, 'How do you Evaluate a Culture?'
A significant minority will change their minds, and live & act consciously from this awareness.
Then we'll be offered lots of money, big houses in the country, and a lifetime's supply of digitally delivered music & drama of our choice. All of which, of course, we won't accept.
Silly question. It's so simple, how can we lose?
Good question. A renaissance of listenable, contemporary opera. Shorter waiting lists for psychoanalysts. The dropping of the US trade embargo against Cuba.
It's a rationally selfish thing. We'd like to hold the third Solo conference in a free Havana - it would add that extra special something. To get that, we either persuade 300 marines, backed up by a couple of AC130 gunships, to relieve Castro of his duties, and install a transitional administration to guide the place in accord with a free constitution written on the back of a cigar packet.
Or, we just flood the resigned & oppressed Cubans with video players, satellite TVs, Coca-cola, processed cheese and Viagra - and let the taste of western accessories do the persuasion - and regime change - for us. We're thinking one Walmart should just about do it.
The latter option costs us nothing, and in fact everyone makes a profit. Though, we'd personally miss flying out from Guantanamo Bay in an AC130. So the jury's still out.
We have no idea.
Can be. Joe Rowlands doesn't take holidays. It's hard, but invigorating work. And lots of fun, in the best of challenging spirits.
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Does Lindsay Perigo find rap a touch unpleasant?