Re: Strategic Intolerance

Reilly Jones (70544.1227@CompuServe.COM)
03 Oct 96 02:21:20 EDT

Eric Watt Forste wrote 10/1/96: <We are long past the time for pre-emptive
strikes, Reilly.>

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keep the demographic levels of
servility low, and the fight against authoritarian violence is manageable. With
high levels of servility, and a looming World State, the fight against
authoritarian violence is unmanageable.

RJ: <Since toleration of entropy is ruination...>

EWF: <I am uncomfortable with the broad sweep of your generalization. I would
say that toleration of nonconsensual violence and expropriation is ruination.>

My axiom ranges beyond the narrowly political issues you have identified. It is
more in the nature of a biophysical law.

EWF: <I get a funny feeling participating in this discussion. Is there anyone on
this list who could reasonably be accused of being servile? Thought not. Why
are we discussing this? Reilly, if you want to crush the servility meme, you are
preaching to the choir here.>

Several individuals have told me that it is useful for them to print a hardcopy
of the posts I make similar to this one. The arguments contained in them, are
richly contextual, a fabric, if you will. There is a Gestalt quality about
them, that is lost when one is in the usual Net mode of chopped-up thinking in
disjointed paragraphs. The "topsight," in Gelernter's terminology, is that an
intractable problem in achieving minimal government exists. Discussion of
servility comes into play in fleshing out this problem. This is of vital
interest to the list, unless, of course, the list consists of irrational
utopians who just want to pretend these dynamic relationships don't exist, or
that there's some magic technological fix to them. I don't believe that to be
the case.

EWF: <People learn to govern themselves by being expected to govern themselves,
preferably by their parents, from earliest childhood.> and <I say people who are
consistently expected to govern themselves learn how to do so and usually do a
pretty good job. People who are consistently expected to submit to authority
can never learn how to govern themselves except through luck and canniness.> and
<Interestingly, I think this is the first point in my conversations with you in
which Nietzsche takes your side of the question and not mine.>

Go with Nietzsche on this one. <g> You are trying to use smoke and mirrors to
avoid the necessity of legitimate levels of hierarchy in human society. To
strip away the smoke and mirrors, you must examine with great honesty and
clarity what the mechanisms of what you term "expected" are.

Parents today, even when they believe in their own authority, which is a rarity
in our post-60s Stalinized culture, aren't allowed by the state to exercise it.
Nor are there "consistent" expectations either in one's childhood or in one's
adulthood, because humanity is inconsistent by nature during periods of rapid
technological development. The state stands behind every family, ready to
intercede "on a child's behalf" whenever the child complains about much of
anything, whether the complaint is issued in the neighborhood, the grocery
store, the doctor's office, or the school. The children know this from very
early on, it permeates the air. When the child says "I won't do what you expect
me to do, and you can't make me," the child is 100% right. Self-control cannot
arise unless the child somewhere along the way makes an internal decision to
submit to authority. It doesn't have to be slavish non-stop submission, no need
to make a big bugaboo about it, but it does have to occur when it counts.

Look closely at what differences there are between "You are expected to do
this," and "You will do this." If expectation means you can always walk away,
without ever having to obey, then self-governance cannot arise. Children can
only decide to obey internally, when they are trapped by the legitimate
hierarchy of society, which closes off avenues of disobedience to them. But in
the modern welfare state, there are never right and wrong decisions which are
rewarded and punished by the next immediate level of authority, there are only
cases to be dealt with by impersonal, removed, statist bureaucrats and
therapists. There can be no self-control, no respect of others, no dignity
between individuals, without this internal decision occurring. And with the
dual scourges of nihilism and radical egalitarianism running rampant in Western
Civilization, there in fact, is precious little self-control, respect, or
dignity. A steady diet of *only* positive reinforcement and *only* unearned
self-esteem boosting in the public schools, with no external discipline, only
produces infantile behavior, individuals simply rage when their desires are
thwarted. As Pope defined servility, they are "proud, selfish and dull." In
addition, as Nietzsche noted, you simply cannot learn to command effectively
unless you have learned to obey. That is why we have no leadership today to
speak of, no Madisons, no Washingtons.

EWF: <The world is full of authoritarian violence, and the last really big wave
of it only ended some fifty years ago.>

IMO, it ended only seven years ago, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, if you
don't count Red China, North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan,
Libya, Syria and assorted other third-world hellholes. I might include the
authoritarian "violence on a grand scale" behind the metaphorical Berlin Wall
known as tenure, protecting the socialist radicals ensconced in the higher
education gulags as they wreak havoc on their students with scientific nihilism,
cultural relativism and historical revisionism.

EWF: <Currently, more than 50% of the product of the US economy is being
poured down a rathole. You know what a tiny sliver of that money, left to
be spent consensually by individuals to further their own values, could do
for life-extension and space-industrialization research. This is violence
on a grand scale.>

Now wait a minute. You accused me of "preaching to the choir"? Let's be
consistent here! <g>

EWF: <This is one reason why I'm more concerned about getting the government out
of the education business than I am about changing the lifestyles of my hippie

I wonder if such noble toleration would apply, if your neighbors were, as you
refer to them, "such scum as Bill Dole and Bob Clinton"?

Now look, you egregiously flame me with such obvious hyperbole and
fear-mongering as:

EWF: <...when I see you eagerly whipping up an orgy of rigidity, intolerance,
internal censorship of thought, and various other things which are Not To My
Taste, I'm going to speak against it.>

Then you turn around and refer to the two rivals for the leadership of the Free
World as "scum." You can't find one iota of support from my post that would
justify your use of hate-speech like "whipping up an orgy" against me. My post
was measured and reasonable, a coherent logical construction. Your hatred for
our country's leadership is far more filled with rigidity and intolerance than
anything I wrote. So calm down, take a deep breath, and don't throw stones in
my direction until you move out of your own glass house.

Reilly Jones | Philosophy of Technology: | The rational, moral and political relations
| between 'How we create' and 'Why we create'