Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I guess at some point I should give my own political and religious leanings.


I totally respect the mindless idealism of progressive thought. Even with the 100% failure rate of liberalism and “big government”, I can see that it’s a beautiful theory: just let the government solve all problems, and utopia will be at hand. Granted, that path has always led to horrific disaster and the slaughter of many millions of innocents, but that kind of idealism in the face of logic is precious. “War is good, providing nobody profits” is basically the catch phrase of this line of thought.

 I started life as a leftist—heck, didn’t we all? I was trained in school to swear to the flag, sang the national anthem every day before classes, was taught that the US was a force for democracy (whatever the heck that means), and that republicans were basically evil. In retrospect, I can see I was indoctrinated, but I grant that everything a child is taught classifies as indoctrination.

The right wing is more intelligent, but leans too much towards evil. The idea of slaughtering for profit, while consistent with conservative thought, just is repugnant to me. “War is good, providing the right people make a profit”, may be a more honest way of looking at things, but I don’t like it. Once I got older and saw the left was certain to fail, I went to the right…an insidious part of that childhood indoctrination is training in the belief that there are only two possibilities, “Democrat/left” and “Republican/right”.

Now, I realize there are many choices, and, for most things, I’m a libertarian. I grant that it doesn’t solve every problem or create a utopia, but compared to the certain misery of the only options I was told about in school, I find it more palatable.

As far as religion, well, I used to be atheist, but I met so many truly nasty and amoral atheists that I found myself asking the age old questions and not getting certain answers.  Watching Hitchens get shredded in a debate didn’t hurt, I admit. Now I lean agnostic; I acknowledge atheism is perfectly reasonable, I accept that the beliefs instilled in childhood are certainly tough to shake and that may taint my views…but even questionable evidence is still not “evidence of negative”, and so I doubt.

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled dissection of higher education…


  1. That link! It's Lord of the Flies in there. Are you sure that site wasn't set up to make lefties/atheists look bad?

  2. The mod says that the members there are bona fide idiots...but they post a lot. It's something of a famous site for, well, crazy. Even trying to convince them about how order of operations works fails (I tried, even with a YouTube video).

  3. Just as there's no "left" in the USA (except a faux one of pious sentiments and moral indignation), there's no "right" either (unless you're counting Fox News and crackpots like Ann Coulter). The left-right dichotomy serves as a smokescreen for the great unwashed. The ruling ideology -- esoteric and restricted to the inner party -- is arguably neoliberalism and if you want a serious introduction to it, I might recommend Mirowski's recent magisterial work, "Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste."

  4. I'll put that book on the agenda. I probably should have mentioned that at this point, there really only seems to be one party in the US--the big government/war/deficit spending party.

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  6. Some wag once said that under capitalism, man exploits man. Under socialism, it's the other way around.

    Canada is divided between its own robber barons and the left wing. The robber barons believe they "earned" their status and tax breaks. The left believes that if one legitimately earns money (either through working for it or by properly making a profit), it was because one exploited and/or oppressed the (name of favourite "victim" group).

    Both have their hands out and expect people like me to pay for their pet projects, no matter how absurd or silly. But let me hit the skids or fall on my face, guess who they expect to pull himself up by his own bootstraps without any assistance from them?

  7. The wag has a pretty good point--I used to be a proponent of capitalism, still am a little, but the "winner take all" capitalism of recent years hasn't impressed me much.