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Reading requires effort, but so does lying about it.

It's in the very first sentence.
Right wingers, Republicans, and libertarians who flog the Constitution of the United Sates of America to push their ideology of 'limited government' (except in matters of defence) have forgotten their sacred document's preamble.  "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."  According to the Constitution, a founding purpose of the government it forms (and continues to inform) was to "promote the general Welfare".  Now, one may argue as to what policies do just that, but one cannot claim the Constitution makes no provision for it without either lying or being grossly ignorant of the writings in question. 

Though it is against my nature, I try to be charitable when it comes to assessing the intelligence of others, and this leads me to assume right wingers, Republicans, and libertarians who say the federal government has no business helping people or promoting their well being are wilfully deceitful.  Accordingly, people should not trust them.  But if they are not liars, then they are woefully uninformed (either because they cannot or will not read the Constitution, however much they might reference it), in which case, people should dismiss their views.  What's more, if they haven't read the thing, then they are lying by omission when they act as if they had, which, again, means people shouldn't trust them.

Other possibilities include incompetence (being unable to comprehend the very thing they tout) and cognitive dissonance (in this case, conveniently forgetting something obvious which goes against their overriding views).

In any case, the upshot is, they should not be listened to in these matters.


  1. I think of you as being conservative...

    I guess there's a difference between being conservative, and being Republican/libertarian..etc..

  2. Not all U.S. conservatives, Republicans, or right wingers espouse the position that the federal constitution is against that institution helping people with anything other than guns or, perhaps, farming. Many people who line up in that broad spectrum are either too honest, too educated, or too uninterested to take up such a view.

    As to my own positions...

    On a global scale, I'm probably mildly to the left in ideals for the world as it could be (given what it is), moderately to the right in ideas executable for the world as it exists now, and extremist in my views of a perfect (but unobtainable and impracticable) world. In the US, when it comes to national politics, I am a firm Democrat, and to the left of the president on a number of issues. In Seattle, I am relatively conservative, despite being for a number of 'progressive' solutions to extant problems.

    My (very rough, and only slightly informed) economic views are broadly Keynesian.

    In so far as I favour Nietzsche's project of a 'revaluation of values', I cannot be considered conservative.

    ...if that makes any sense.

  3. I guess...I tend to think of conservatives in terms of character traits..more than in positions on issues...though I suppose there are certain positions I'd have a hard time reconciling with being conservative. Like for example, our governor (of Pennsylvania), supports natural gas drilling, which I don't think is a conservative position, even though he's a Republican, it's just pro business, and it's a pretty reckless thing to do...a more conservative position, to my eyes, would be putting a moratorium on drilling, or at least taxing it to slow its proliferation...

    I think Nietzsche as conservative too...though I'm not really sure what a revaluation of values would entail...that could be a conservative thing.

  4. Conservation should be a conservative value, but many conservatives have abandoned any vestiges of Teddy Roosevelt styled naturalism for a more rugged pro-business position.

    Nietzsche's quest was to reevaluate and restructure our moral systems through a 'revaluation of values', an end which would result in the advent of a self-determining, person free of the constraints of outmoded and unjustified systems of thought, a superman. There are many attendent concepts in his philosophy, and people have interpreted the whole of it (or bits and pieces) in all sorts of ways. My own feeling is such an undertaking must be permanent and unending in order to be of value.

    In coming to an understanding of part and current moral structures, but seeking to move beyond them without making any facile or boneheaded moves (such as the nihilism Nietzsche predicted and feared), we cannot set out to prop up the old ways or the status quo. Thus it is hard to characterised as a conservative.while engaged on such a project. That is assuming conservativism, at base, reflects a reluctance to change or a desire for what is understood as traditional practice and living.

    Of course, I am no ubermensch, and there are many things I consider right or useful out of practice.


  5. I remember you saying somewhere something about you trying to cultivate neo-nihilism.

    I feel like I'm not really able to appreciate the scope of such an undertaking (revaluation of values).

    I feel constrained in action, moreso than in thought. I know you think that thought is a type of action...but I mean, like, doing things not just inside my head...I feel compelled mainly to do what everyone else does, and in particular what those who have power tell me to, because that's the path of least of resistance and it causes me the least amount of stress, and it takes quite a bit of effort for me to exert myself in a way contrary to their wishes. Except in private of course...but it's never quite as satisfying that way...

    I suppose the reason I called Nietzsche conservative, is mainly that I heard him referred to as conservative in a book I read once...and the label stuck...and then I read a bit of Nietzsche, and noticed some of his likely traits (solitary, polite but also forceful when it comes to backing up his own views, probably not vain, cool headed, has had difficulties with women, doesn't take easy comforts) and then I thought of those as conservative...

    1. He's also seemed preoccupied with things like nationality, and one's ancestry, which are also things other people I know, who I consider conservative, are preoccupied with...


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