Re: Pardon my rant, was Re: Afghanistan after the war

From: Michael M. Butler (
Date: Sun Nov 11 2001 - 11:48:55 MST

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
> Michael said:
> > Let me reiterate. Obi-L wants me dead until all infidels are out of Saudi
> > Arabia. Well, that's what he wanted a few weeks ago. Now he's talking
> > about Israel, I hear.
> I *really* think people need to reconsider this. *If* the
> conspiracy theorists are wrong (I've got *no* idea how to
> validate some of the pointers posted by Daniel and Alex) --
> and the "party line" motivations for bin Laden are correct --
> then we are facing something much much worse than a megalomaniac.

I'm hewing close to the convenient short term on my recent posts to this list.
I'm considering it more deeply that I let on, Robert. I have struggled with
the question of how much thinking to spout on the list proper. The hell with it,
here goes another braindump. Step back so you don't get any on your shoes.


The thing is, everyone with a "more legitimate" grudge than the
luddites and fundies of all stripes (and I mean "more legitimate"
from my perspective as a liberal-tarian) still has common cause with
the fundies. Looking at the rhetoric, functional coalitions are
certainly in evidence.

It's Hate America season, and arguably has been since the Monroe Doctrine
really got teeth. Smedley Butler was twice decorated with the Medal of Honor,
and he came out with his "War is a racket!" line in the 1920s, after the War
That Didn't End All Wars.

<<Sidebar, related to pancritical rationalism if you look at it hard enough:
As a person who was programmed with Frank Capra and Baden-Powell, etc.,
I find it deeply ironic that "disillusionment" connotes a sorry state; it's
as if we recognize that the illusion is really preferable. Ever notice that
in this culture? "Childhood's end"--but why do we have to lie so much? Hmm?

Memetically, it's a multi-front war that's been put in a blender.

There are people who have been wronged by the smiling striped giant with a goatee,
and there are people who have been wronged by his smiling Armani-suited associates,
and there are people who have been double-teamed by the two of them.

And _then_ there are people who would *know* in their *bones* that pancritical
rationalism is a tool of utter evil.

The third group is by no means composed solely of feudal foreigners.

Recall the de Bono line about the primary purpose of thinking being to abolish thinking.
Whew, glad that's over! That was hard work. Now I can get back to the purpose of my life!
Rationalism, as practiced, is a tool for getting one's way, just like all the others.

And pancritical rationalism would never have developed _even as a theory_ in a society
that those third-group people would consider healthy. Bartley would have been burned
along with his writings, if his forebears hadn't been.

Nowadays he's just being ignored or painted as part of the overall relativism
"sickness". Big improvement?

It's also complicated by the fact that as things stand, the existing Western
power structures, warts, jewels and all, have to maintain thick faces and change,
if at all, only slowly, or too much noise will show up in the system.

How much noise (/chaos)(/change)(/rate of change) is too much? Depends.
How much of a conspiracy to believe in? How about the conspiracy of "getting
back to normal"? Does that count? Doesn't "normal" suck, pretty much?


Let's shift gears here:

There was an ad for M&Ms back a long time ago; it's set in a Western saloon:

"These cards are MARKED!" "They a MESS!" "A CHOCOLATE MESS!"
"Hold on, pards! The 'dirty dealer' mean no harm..."

The candy-coated shell of M&Ms, of course, provides a solution, and a happy ending.

PCR needs a hard candy-coated shell. And it needs lots of distribution points.

And it needs quality control. Or it'll lapse into plain old rationalism-tool-to-manipulate-others.

That is a mighty tough row to hoe, but the alternative is scratching the old played-out dirt with
a stick and hoping some feeble crop will spring up eventually.

It's a chocolate mess. But some of the chocolate is edible.


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