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Rejecting Collective Identity

individual

From The Sultan Knish, The Traditionalist Rebel

The traditionalist rebel is slow to anger. Unlike the social justice warrior and the crybully, he does not derive his sense of self from manufactured conflicts only meant to reinforce a collective identity, but from his own values. His anger is patient, but also more decisive. It is not the fanatical hysteria of the neurotic leftist who, like the Mohammedan suicide bomber sees paradise in the destruction of perceived enemies, but is a cold, hard determination to be free of them.

It is not the leftist Utopian who wants freedom, but the traditionalist rebel who sees his right to speak, to worship, to marry and raise children, to protect his family and his home, and to go through his life without being accountable to anyone but G-d and his conscience every minute of the day, instead of the ears, eyes and tentacles of government, under attack who truly fights for freedom.

HKO

Fantastic Post.

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The Measured and Unmeasured

From Joel Kotkin at newgeography.com AMERICA’S NEW OLIGARCHS—FWD.US AND SILICON VALLEY’S SHADY 1 PERCENTERS

this is an excerpt from a reader’s comment on the article above:

The Valley’s failure to fulfill its promise seems to be due precisely to this: it lacks, shuns even, any appreciation for that which cannot be measured or valued in quantitative terms. All the qualitative longings of the human soul to reach above and beyond to something spiritual; all that the poets and the mystics have mused about; anything other than status, power, money, image, dominance, and elegant technique; all that belongs to what psychologists like to call the affective domain; all the finer things of human life that distinguish us from both ape and computer; all those ideals like romance, compassion, love, kindness, graciousness, beauty, human rights, and the simple affectations of the smell of a rose or nostalgia for the past; all this and much more the Valley has left unattended in its single-minded obsession with and ruthless pursuit of the refinement of technique. For in the Valley, higher technology automatically means more progress. Every human challenge is to be viewed as some kind of technical brainteaser that can ultimately find a technological solution—and it better make somebody filthy rich, and make it snappy, too!

HKO

“everything that can be measured is not worth measuring and everything that is worth measuring can not be measured.”

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The Authentic Rebel

individual

From The Sultan Knish, The Traditionalist Rebel

The traditionalist rebel does not believe that collectivist institutions can make us moral. He relies instead on individual institutions of character and honor, empathy and morality. He trusts people individually to do the right thing more than any government. And when he has to trust institutions, he prefers those that are built on honor and integrity, and on simple decency, than those tangled mazes of academic theory whose premises followed to their terrible conclusions assert that human beings are expendable for the sake of utopian ideologies. 

It is his individualism that makes the traditionalist rebel so ornery. He has natural anti authoritarian instincts, he demands reasons for restrictions and has a tendency to defy for the sake of defiance. And yet he is not a destroyer, but a builder, he does not want to smash things for the sake of smashing, instead he smashes that which prevents him from building his own values and his own relationships.

Unlike his leftist rebel enemies, he does not fight to impose his system on others, but to defy their attempts to impose their system on him. That is why he is an authentic rebel and they are aristo tyrants playing at being rebels because even bad guys hate seeming like bad guys.

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We Are All Influenced by Philosophy

apewithskull

from my article in yesterday’s American Thinker, Donald Trump ushering in the third wave of Progressivism

We are witnessing the third and final phase of American Progressivism, where the administrative state has stifled the economy, destroyed opportunities, and lost control of the process.

(The editors modified the title, submitted as Witnessing the Third Phase of Progressivism which I contend started with George W. Bush.)

The article got over 330 comments, mostly rabidly supportive of Trump and critical of my stance.  I recommend reading the comments. It’s what I like about submitting to American Thinker. The most comments I ever got only any other submission (about 40) was just over 100.

I found one comment submitted by one Mcsandberg worthy of sharing:

The real problem with the so-called “pragmatists” was identified by Ayn Rand:

Now some of you might say, as many people do: “Aw, I never think in such abstract terms — I want to deal with concrete, particular, real-life problems — what do I need philosophy for?” My answer is: In order to be able to deal with concrete, particular, real-life problems — i.e., in order to be able to live on earth.

You might claim — as most people do — that you have never been influenced by philosophy. I will ask you to check that claim. Have you ever thought or said the following? “Don’t be so sure — nobody can be certain of anything.” You got that notion from David Hume (and many, many others), even though you might never have heard of him. Or: “This may be good in theory, but it doesn’t work in practice.” You got that from Plato. Or: “That was a rotten thing to do, but it’s only human, nobody is perfect in this world.” You got that from Augustine. Or: “It may be true for you, but it’s not true for me.” You got it from William James. Or: “I couldn’t help it! Nobody can help anything he does.” You got it from Hegel. Or: “I can’t prove it, but I feel that it’s true.” You got it from Kant. Or: “It’s logical, but logic has nothing to do with reality.” You got it from Kant. Or: “It’s evil, because it’s selfish.” You got it from Kant. Have you heard the modern activists say: “Act first, think afterward”? They got it from John Dewey.

Some people might answer: “Sure, I’ve said those things at different times, but I don’t have to believe that stuff all of the time. It may have been true yesterday, but it’s not true today.” They got it from Hegel. They might say: “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” They got it from a very little mind, Emerson. They might say: “But can’t one compromise and borrow different ideas from different philosophies according to the expediency of the moment?” They got it from Richard Nixon — who got it from William James. (Ayn Rand, Address to the The Graduating Class of the United States Military at West Point New York – March 6,1974)

So, whoever we elect to the presidency will be following an ideology. I’d prefer somebody that knows it and has one I agree with.

Atlas Shrugged was supposed to be a warning, Not A Newspaper!

HKO

Regardless of my opinion it is clear that I have grossly underestimated Trump (and Sanders) and the revolution against the political establishment of both parties that Trump and Sanders have tapped into. Trump stands to win the GOP nomination and has a much better chance of beating Hillary than I would have thought. He may even get a substantial portion of the Bernie followers. Chris Christie will be the first in a long line of establishment players to get behind him.

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The Snake in The Garden

no-evil

From The Sultan Knish, The Traditionalist Rebel

The traditionalist rebel is the snake in the liberal Eden because he does not have faith in the noble motives of the bureaucratic activists who claim to be the gods of this Eden. He knows enough of human nature to reject the fallacy that the right ideology makes men so righteous that they can be trusted with absolute power without absolute corruption following in their wake. He knows that socialists have not risen above the crimes of selfish self interest that they condemn mankind for.

Their Utopian Eden is a false paradise built on lies and maintained by abuses. It is not the paradise where mankind can return to a state of innocence, but a hell whose innocence is only a willful ignorance of the crimes being committed in its name, whose followers maintain their false virtue through a steady diet of moral outrage over the crimes of everyone but their own superiors and their own ideology.

The traditionalist rebel values innocence, but has learned the lessons of experience. He knows that virtue is an individual struggle and that it cannot be achieved through self deceit. He has learned long ago that we do not become better people by lying to ourselves.

HKO

Best post this year- so far. Read the whole piece.