Saturday, December 17, 2011

Auster's priorities

Lawrence Auster
writes on his blog:

The transcendent issue in this election, on which the survival of American liberty depends, is the repeal of Obamacare. My long-time position (which could change depending on new facts and circumstances) is that I will vote for any Republican nominee who seems to be genuinely committed to repealing Obamacare.

No, he's dead wrong. The overarching issue in this election, as well as previous, and subsequent elections, is the problem of Islam. Bottom line: If there were a candidate who supported "Obamacare" and yet were also anti-Islam, I would vote for him in a heartbeat. Auster, apparently, wouldn't. That speaks volumes.

Similarly, if there were a candidate unabashedly supportive of the homosexual agenda who was also anti-Islam (*cough! Pim Fortuyn cough!*), again, I would vote for him in a New York minute. Auster, apparently, wouldn't. When Auster described the respective problems thusly:

Islam... [and] homosexual liberation—two of the major forces threatening our civilization from without and within...

-- which of the two would he choose to oppose, if the rubber met the road and he had to choose?

About people like me, readers can be confident they know where I stand. About Auster, one never knows. And how many other issues would Auster add from his hectic schedule of Commenting on All Things Emergent Under the Sun? With his penchant for labile hyperbole, "major forces threatening our civilization" probably applies to half a dozen other sociopathologies he just happened not to mention that day. And anyway, we saw up top how "Obamacare" rises above the specter of Islam like a larger Godzilla would loom over a mere garden snake. (Sorry, I got Austerianly carried away with my rhetoric there...)

Auster is yet another "conservative" for whom Islam is a problem, yeah sure; but not the "real" problem. Somewhere down the to-do list, doncha know, after we take care of all the non-Islamic Enemies Within and Under Our Bed. For its intellectual and political leadership, the Anti-Islam Movement does not need individuals for whom the problem is treated more as a hobby to be shelved aside for supposedly more urgent hobbyhorses -- than as the unique, and uniquely overarching, danger that it is.


Sagunto said...

Hi Hesp -

I'd submit that you and Auster are both wrong. The troublesome part is that the both of you seem unable appreciate the full depth of the global economic and financial crisis. Your dollar is in danger of a complete collapse, and you're arguing about Obombercare/Islam.
I concede that Islam should be one of the most prominent issues in this election, but it won't be. Is all this "War on Terror" progressivist newspeak, nothing much beyond that. The US people will only begin to catch on, when the Muslim percentage of the total population will reach EU proportions. Nowadays it's mostly a foreign policy issue, and US foreign policy can't possibly ever backfire because it is benign and well-intended, or so the story goes..

Kind regs from Amsterdam,

Hesperado said...


"The troublesome part is that the both of you seem unable appreciate the full depth of the global economic and financial crisis."

There's been a global economic and financial crisis since 1789.

Sagunto said...

"There's been a global economic and financial crisis since 1789."

That's a remarkable statement. Care to elaborate, confined to the US?

Hesperado said...


My point is that globalism and the economic changes and convulsions it entails is as old as the hills; and so are the dire prognostications and diagnoses of supposedly unprecedented crises. After the worst economic dislocations in modern history, in the decade after WW1, the West rebounded to become spectacularly more progressive on all levels measureable in society in a half century than all of Mankind had in all of its recorded history. In a nutshell, you are mistaking ongoing growing pains of the modern West for signs of the apocalypse.

Nobody said...


The global crisis is cyclical - always has been, always will be. The current economic situation in the West is accompanied by a boom in China, but just like Japan popped in the 90s, China too is bound to pop - its growth won't go on forever. While I'm not old enough to remember it, this economy is like the Great depression of the 40s, which was only ended by WWII.

Wonder whether it'll take a hot war on the Muslim world to come out of it.

Sagunto said...

Hi Hesp -

Spoken like a true progressivist ;) You point to the half a century when traditional Europe really got screwed up by US neo-Wilsonian progressivism, right? When - starting in Germany - Europe became subjected to that typical postwar US export product, i.e. PC/MC and this gnostic Cult of "Diversity"(TM). That half a century? Why not say "USA" instead of "the West", because so very often it seems thats you're not really talking about all of "the West".

Apart from this progressivist newspeak, there's no indication in your reply, or in any of your former comments I've ever seen, that you have but the slightest idea what a free market economy is actually all about. So for both you and @Nobody, here's something to kickstart your belated education: a lecture by one of the very few economic writers and analysts who predicted the dotcom and the housing bubble.

Oh, and @Nobody, you might want to check out Frédéric Bastiat and find out what he meant by the "fallacy of the broken window," 'cause that's what this progressivist myth about WW2 and the Depression is based upon. Henry Hazlitt ("Economics in one Lesson") would be a great introduction here. Check it out, you won't regret it.

At your service. Enjoy,

Hesperado said...


Just two things for now:

1) progress is rarely if ever perfect and unparadoxical: the post-WW2 era has brought into mainstream dominance PC MC; yet it also has seen, as I said, spectacularly pragmatic beneficent developments -- unprecedented in all world history -- in technology, science, socio-technological infrastructure, laws, ethics and politics. The intertwining of these two developments is no accident -- but not the kind of non-accident at which the conspiracy theorist licks his lips, rubs his hands and relishes. More, rather, the non-accident of the unfolding of the inner logic of the beneficent virtues of the West through its four pillars of Judaeo-Christian/Graeco-Roman. On the other hand, this non-accident is not an inevitable determinism: it didn't have to unfold this way, in this particular fashion. Indeed, it is a fashion, one flavor or concoction among others. A more enduring and nourishing 3-course-meal, so to speak, is also possible, and indeed quite probable to supplant, in due time, this less nutritious fare which the West has been serving itself.

2) As to your oft-repeated indication that I am only speaking about the U.S.A. (even when I think I am speaking of the entire West), I would think that the mountain of documentation from JW and GOV over the years, including innumerable reports of, and from, the beleaguered travails of a tiny minority of souls in Europe and Australia going against the pro-Islamic grain of their societies would lay to rest that canard. The entire West is PC MC about Islam. And the entire West has post-WW2 progressed paradoxically as described in #1 (and of course that progress has long historical roots, for the 19th century itself was a stupendous acceleration of human progress unseen in all world history -- all happening in the West and, through Western colonialism, in various parts of the Third World).

[continued next comment]

Hesperado said...

[continued from last]

As I wrote in my essay Morosophy and the Mother of All Others, where I refer to PC MC as "morosophy" or a species of "learned ignorance":

... morosophy has been able to become dominant and mainstream throughout the West because it has been able to take root in the hearts and minds of millions of people -- Elites and Ordinary Folks alike -- and it has been able to take root in their hearts and minds because it is felt to be a natural consequence and unfolding of the progress of values & virtues deemed to be good in the Western heritage -- chief among them being:



Eschewal of Bigotry and Racism

an Interest in the Other and a Respect for the Other's ways

a robust and honest Self-Criticism of One's Own Civilization both now and in its history


an effort to transcend Tribalism and cultivate Universal Brotherhood.

[I would add another key ingredient which I missed in my original essay: a much more elusive, less easily describable virtue: that of what could be called a "spirit of insouciance" and a "spirit of creativity" manifested, among other things, in an ongoing evolution of the arts as modes, in their own right, alongside Philosophy, Theology and Science, for the human spirit to explore, and respond to, the mysteries and mysterious aggravations, disturbances and glimmers of joy of existence and meaning. These spirits of insouciance and creativity have morphed throughout the West and over the past couple of centuries -- progressing exponentially with each passing generation -- and have affected individuals and society & culture in fascinating and powerful ways, both good and bad (a mixture which, apparently, is a simple-minded misfortune for those whose sense of imperfection has been, for one reason or another, blunted and stunted).]

6) Finally, what makes this development of these values & virtues "morosophy" is, in a nutshell, the process of taking good things too far -- taking them to irrational excess.

Recalling our metaphorical analogy above of a healthy body becoming disordered by becoming, so to speak, "too healthy" in terms of naturopathic vs. allopathic theories of disease, it may not be explainable why this has happened, other than to say it is always a potential in any healthy organism. The how of it, and the what of it, however, can be analyzed and illuminated, and perhaps through that a restoration to sanity and health can be achieved -- though not, perhaps, and tragically if not infuriatingly, without some external promptings in the form of much more violence from Muslims against us in the coming decades.

I would add that the virtues I listed above are not, in and of themselves, bad things. It is their being taken to irrational excess that is the precise problem of PC MC. And that, my friend, is the acute key to understanding how and why PC MC has overtaken the West -- for something inherently bad or evil cannot overtake from within a good and healthy organism. And if we rule out that PC MC is an alien invasion, we are left, as Sherlock Holmes was wont to remind his sometimes blockheaded Watson, "with the only possible conclusion".

Sagunto said...

Hi Hesp -

I'm missing your points 3/4/5/ here. Perhaps one of them had at least a little something to do with the monetary crisis, because that was my point which you seem unable or unwilling to address.

Perhaps it's somewhere on GoV or your own site that I can find your views on economic theory. I'd be very interested to get some indication about your understanding of say, the business cycle/economic history/value of your currency and so on.

Now, about the progressivist US as "pars pro toto", i.e. the West in your discourse. And don't be so disingenuous to point to other exchanges we've had on GoV because I know you didn't always do what you do here, and I greatly value those discussions.
However, when in this exchange (and let's confine ourselves to this one) you spreak of "Western progress", it really is the US that you have in mind as the prime mover, and I agree that it was, to our common detriment. Again: economically speaking, the language for which you have not yet shown any genuine interest to understand.

You're not able to acknowledge this, because (1) you're a dedicated progressive, using the typically Trotskyite debating tactic of hurling "conspiracy" invectives at those who question your basic assumptions, and (2) you don't have the means, info-wise. So I provided some in my earlier comment, because seriously - and I sincerely hope you won't take this the wrong way - you sure need some.

Cheers and take care,

Hesperado said...


I wasn't clear in that last post. My initial #1 and #2 were newly written for that comment. The later #6 was a vestige from the "Morosophy" essay. The stuff prior to #6 I had begun pasting from that article just after the #5 mark. So you never saw its points #1-4 at all.

As those points weren't directly relevant, I didn't include them. Just for curiosity, I'll paste them in here:

1) This morosophy is dominant and mainstream throughout the West.

2) Per #1, it is not the province merely of Leftists, but has long ago infected the hearts and minds of most Centrists and Conservatives (including most Christians).

3) This morosophy would not have become dominant and mainstream in a civilization as otherwise intellectually and socially healthy, democratic, sophisticated, and advanced as the modern West, were this morosophy not in complex and subtle ways intimately partaking, if not a natural outgrowth, of the health of that civilization: that's why its believers and practitioners are "morosophs" and not merely "morons" -- i.e., most of them are not unintelligent. The problem is not one of a lack of intelligence, but of intelligence misused and re-routed, so to speak.

4) Per #3, this morosophy is natural to the West, and is part of its goodness, as a hectic fever may be said to be due to a natural organic excess in the health of a body (in terms, let us hope less quacky, of naturopathic vs. allopathic medicine.)

5) Per #3 and #4 then, this morosophy has been able to become dominant and mainstream throughout the West because it has been able to take root in the hearts and minds of millions of people -- Elites and Ordinary Folks alike -- and it has been able to take root in their hearts and minds because it is felt to be a natural consequence and unfolding of the progress of values & virtues deemed to be good in the Western heritage -- chief among them being:



Eschewal of Bigotry and Racism


Hesperado said...

As for America, America only became the vanguard of the West in the last century, and not really until the middle of it (though with important precursors ramping up to that). Prior to that, the West for a good millennium was progressing in spectacular ways. America may be said to be the most successful colony which Europe ever created, and as the 19th century unfolded, in hindsignt one can see why, as Americans slowly but surely took innovative and practical charge of the technological and scientific progress that was changing the world in stupdendous ways, and would continue in later decades, into the 20th, to stupefy in its protean dynamism.

The intellectual/psychological kernel of PC MC was not invented by Americans. We see the roots of it throughout the West prior to the 20th century, and even going back to Montaigne in 16th century France; and though reflecting a small minority, he was not unique. Nor have Europeans allowed it to become dominant and mainstream in their societies in latter days against their will, whilst struggling with the ropes tied around their arms and the kerchiefs stuffed down their mouths by wily and all-powerful CIA agents.

I realize you hold the key to Why Everything Went Wrong, and that to access that vault where The Truth is stored I must bone up on reams of economic theory which at some moment, perhaps after midnight, engages all the gears of concrete reality such that the scales will fall from my eyes, that I may be inducted into the Anti-Masonic Hall.

But thankfully, through reading Voegelin, I am forever immune to such potions and temptations.

Sagunto said...

Oh and Hesp -

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Like I said before, always a pleasure to explore our differences of opinion. Okay, perhaps not all of the time, but I genuinely value our spirited discussions.
Let's continue in 2012 and have a good year!

Take care my friend, from Amsterdam with appreciation and kind regs,

Hesperado said...

Thanks Sagunto,

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones as well!