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  1. #31
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    In that sentence smart goes with elite.

    He's talking about the NE educational establishment (and prob the media) not smart people generally.
    Elites are the ones trying to impose evolution on everyone through the socialist public school system. That's what people like Santorum actually believe. You can't reason with that.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    From what I've gathered, he was (very clumsily) saying that academic types seek to advance technocratic policies that centralize power and decision-making in the hands of national experts, at the expense of both sub-national institutions, private organizations, and individuals, thereby maximizing the control of said elites over the operation and direction of the country, which means that a party ostensibly advancing federalism and limited government isn't going to appeal to them.

    Santorum made himself an easy target with his syntax, but his point was probably little different from F.A. Hayek's contention that classical socialism and central planning was popular among academics because a combination of intellectual arroance and self-aggrandizement leads to the 'fatal conceit' that 'man is able to shape the world around him according to his wishes', and the associatted notion that highly educated experts are therefore the rightful architects and guides over societies and institutions.

    Back in college, when left-wing friends had trouble understanding what this means, I always brought up Rumsfeld as an example of this principle in operation.
    In Europe its the bankers and finance capital which are crying out for technocrats, especially in places like Greece, to ride rough shode over the will of the electorates and make those democracies safe for business.

    What is essentially required is that during the recession, when taxes formerly collected from surpluses generated from economic growth are threatening to instead cut into actual legacies of the transglobal "fortune five hundred" families (although its not really those guys, they're untouchable but its the upper classes we're talking about here, no one living paycheck to paycheck, no one paying of mortgages on first homes or anything relateable like that), that wealth be protected first and foremost.

    The left wing does not support technocrats, definitely not, there's a hell of a lot of ignorant and vicious hating on "bosses" as a vaguely defined "other" in the ranks of all left wingers, leading to some pretty bizarre performance routines among those who are effectively boss/manager figures within their parties or organisations, especially unions, to try and distinguish themselves from those which are considered to be that way and therefore, by their very nature, "traitors". Its one of the many things totally and utterly paralysising the left wing at this time.

    Hayek's contentions are all WW2 and post-war era ideas, seriously, they can be given their place but the reading which libertarians give them is alwasy out of context. His equation of so called "classical socialism" with central planning is a complete and utter lie. If that is even is equation because the guy did like to mix it up, bunching the nazis, communists, socialists, central planners all together under as an easily identified single entity, he knew a lot about propaganda, some of it learned from his opponents, and Orwell did lampoon it in 1984 but I dont think he ever used the term "classical socialism".

    I'd have to ask what "classical" as opposed to any other variety is, as I understand it most "classical" or early socialism was devoid of government or centralism, Robert Owen's new lanark mills and trade unionism wasnt marked by it at all, Charles Fourier was a bit of a joke trying to get rich sponsors for his "perfect" intentional communities/communes but again, no sign of centalism or government, Engels was more like Owen than anyone else and I think still was, being a factory owner, after he met Marx, who was a failed literary critic who had some insights but spent his last days scrutinising the Russian Mir, a precapitalist farming arrangment like the precapitalist english "commons", no centralism or government there either.

    Even GDH Cole, a relatively modern socialist, was opposed without a doubt to centralism and government, he wrote attacks upon the welfare state as something different from socialism and not defensible as a step towards socialism. He had no illusion, the state wasnt and couldnt be a means for introducing or furthering the goals and objectives of socialists at all.

    If there is a fatal conceit involving intellecutal arrogance and self-aggrandizement shouldnt the award go to John Galt? The utopias of capitalists like Rand in which rich folk can "strike" against taxes look a lot like that, I'm sure there was a lot of that conceit which was exclusively the preserve of authoritarian statists years ago, especially in the time Hayek was writing but I doubt ANYONE could believe that now about government, least of all academics, although its a great line to feed people who dont know academics or are unlikely ever to. Most of the mega corporations of today exercise the same sorts of planning which Hayek attacked in government but its largely ignored as a problem at all.

    Is there no trace in suggesting that your left-wing friends had "trouble understanding" either? I hate that about the right wing, they assume the position of "teacher" to a lot of people who do not need to be taught and by doing so only reinforce their own and frequently others prejudices and stilted, outdated thinking.

  3. #33
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    This kind of thing cannot be shrugged off as Rick Santorum misspeaking. The reason it cannot be is because so much of the Republican party denies evolution and climate change, and believes bizarre biological facts like the one Todd Akin threw out there. Those are the most important issues, but in terms of the sheer quantity they only graze the surface.

    And of course, you have that whole thing about the Texas GOP platform opposing critical thinking.
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  4. #34
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    So you take anecdotal experience over the effects of funding? Realize that perception is also the easiest aspect of measurement to toy with. That is the foundation of propaganda - which of course has been rebranded as public relations. Perceptions are becoming skewed so far from Center that it is a real issue.
    I'm noting that survey evidence would seem to indicate that coporate money (putting aside for now the fact that coporations don't always agree with each other) would have one hell of time drowning out bias which effectively permeates the institutions in question, and which is constantly reinforced by the regard of like-minded peers. As for my tongue-in-cheek reference to (widespread but wholly subjective) anecdotal evidence, you didn't seem to be offerring anything more than your own anecdotal evidence in support of your position.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I would actually say Clinton was more middle of the road than Obama, but that's just me.
    That's what I was trying to imply.

    I don't really have much of a problem with Clinton.

    I just think most Democrats are blind to the fact that Romney is the same way, just coming from the right.

    Ftr, I fucking hate Santorum, and would not have voted for him had he won the nomination.

    And I know a lot of people who are voting for Romney who feel the same way.

  6. #36
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    You know, I love how the Leftists on here love to make threads about right-wing straw men, as if it damages the non-straw-man version of the arguments. I could be mistaken, but I don't think you see the libertarians/conservatives on here constantly making such absurd threads about the idiotic people and gaffes/arguments of the left (of whom and which there are plenty).

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I would actually say Clinton was more middle of the road than Obama, but that's just me.
    I would say that Clinton was right wing, I would actually say that Obama is right wing too but Clinton was definitely further right wing.

    Clinton and Blair were both examples of a "left", if it can be described as such, response to the supposed repositioning of the political spectrum, the professional politicians and elites all decided that Thatcher was right with TINA (There Is No Alternative), this was echoed by formerly liberal or left wing economists, the popularity of libertarianism etc.

    So an effort was made to adapt to that, if you're cynical you'll consider it as being no small way the careerist moves of party hacks aiming to come to terms with their opposition to see if there was not some way they could "share office", minimising differences while some how keeping the confidence of the public at large and their supporters intact, if you're idealistic it was a genuine attempt at centrist politics, adopting what makes sense from both left and right wing politics but with a view of maintaining legacies, including the welfare state.

    Clinton did more to reduce deficit spending than anyone before or since, his administration paid off debt only to see the Bush administration run a massive deficit, which was rationalised as necessary not just as financing for the immediate objectives, ie wars, but to prevent any alternative administrations having money to spend creating commitments which would require honouring in growth or recessionary times. There was a very, very clear message in it that any attempt at creating a new political consensus could screw off, no matter how much liberal compromises were made it'd never be enough.

    That's one of the central political divisions as I see it, the right wing is either too dumb or too determined to settle for anything less than really, really radical objectives, the left wing loses heart quickly, a lot of the time because their leaders can be bought off with jobs and money but also for a host of other more deepseated reasons which militate against consistency, continuity and organisation over the long term.

  8. #38
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    You know, I love how the Leftists on here love to make threads about right-wing straw men, as if it damages the non-straw-man version of the arguments. I could be mistaken, but I don't think you see the conservatives on here constantly making such absurd threads about the idiotic people and gaffes/arguments on the left (of whom and which there are plenty).
    Yes, but this is a forum heavily biased toward the left-wing, no? We probably don't have many of that common sort of conservative here.
    We have had some though. The various topics about climate change are a good example.

    My precise point is that I do not feel Santorum is a straw man. Not these days.
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  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    This kind of thing cannot be shrugged off as Rick Santorum misspeaking. The reason it cannot be is because so much of the Republican party denies evolution and climate change, and believes bizarre biological facts like the one Todd Akin threw out there. Those are the most important issues, but in terms of the sheer quantity they only graze the surface.

    And of course, you have that whole thing about the Texas GOP platform opposing critical thinking.
    I think smart conservatives or even just smart rich people have abandoned the republicans and gravitated towards libertarianism, if not in a serious politically organised sense, because many of the libertarians are like the tea party factions really damned cracked from the perspective of people who just want stability and security for their money.

    Chomsky used to put it in print that the rich republicans fomented a whole ideology and movement to which they did not actually want to belong themselves personally, althought that was back at the time of the Christian Coalition being the mainstay of the right wing and not the Tea Party, he may not have been wide of the mark.

    Although like I've said before, all these "slips", "gaffs" and "misspeaking" I dont believe are really that accidential, its testing exercises, it could even mobilise as voters people who've not voted for a long time, single issuers of right wing bents and opinions they dare not let others know they privately profess. The aim isnt for any moderate or fence sitting voter, its the hardcore which stays at home.

    In the UK it happens too, the so called coalition of liberals and conservatives will have one or the other say something, which is usually pretty radical, then gauge the publics response in the safety of knowing they can suggest it is not representative of the coalition as a whole and respond accordingly.

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    You know, I love how the Leftists on here love to make threads about right-wing straw men, as if it damages the non-straw-man version of the arguments. I could be mistaken, but I don't think you see the libertarians/conservatives on here constantly making such absurd threads about the idiotic people and gaffes/arguments of the left (of whom and which there are plenty).
    I'd just go with that.

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