Arimathea
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Philosophy
All wisdom begins in wonder, and this delight kindles a desire for truth that leads us on a quest for the really real -- the source of being itself. Hence, the philosophical impulse, albeit often manifested in atheistic and irreverent stumblings in the dark of human ignorance, begins and ultimately ends in theology -- communicating and communing with our origin and goal. We men are rational animals who seek to know. We are agents of truth who want correct answers to questions that we must ask. From the noblest objects of contemplation to the seemingly insignificant everyday trivialities of life, we attempt to unravel perplexing knots. Limited, blind, and distracted, we nevertheless struggle for wisdom. This is our lot, and it is also our glory.
Friday, December 28, A.D. 2012
Rightwingers for Peace

It is the season of peace and goodwill, and I hope that you are happily spending Advent (for old calendarists) or the Nativity festal season (for new calendarists) with friends and family.

You may wish to read William Lind’s “Why Conservatives Hate War” from The American Conservative. Aside from the sunny picture of Cincinnati’s favorite son Robert A. Taft, Lind’s article presents a short, common sense explanation of why “true” conservatives hate war. War disrupts cultural continuity. It provides “crises” that power hungry politicians won’t let “go to waste.” It increases public debt and state power. It fosters centralization. It empowers the military industrial complex, which makes future wars more probable—why let all our expensive gadgets go to waste? War is sometimes necessary and sometimes justified, but it always levies a significant social cost beyond the immediate blood spilt and treasure spent. War has played the midwife for most of modernity’s horrors.

Posted by Joseph on Friday, December 28, Anno Domini 2012
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Thursday, December 20, A.D. 2012
Diversity When It Suits You

Monsignor Charles Pope published a rather strongly worded message on the Archdiocese of Washington’s site in October about Gallaudet University’s treatment of one of its employees after she signed a petition about homosexual marriage (sic): “When Cultural Radicals speak of ‘diversity,’ They mean no such thing.” Cheers for Monsignor Pope! Maybe more of his flock will wake to recognize the revolution for what it is.

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, December 20, Anno Domini 2012
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Tuesday, December 18, A.D. 2012
America’s Impotent Appeal

In September, before the Benghazi attacks but after hundreds of incidents in recent years that characterize the religion of peace, Lawrence Auster commented on the pointless time, effort, and money spent for goodwill diplomacy in the Dar al Islam: “America’s impotent appeal to Muslims.” In the post, he links to his “Real Islam Policy for a Real America,” which describes how Western nations would react to Mohammedan terrorism and conquest if they were not crippled by craven and crazy ideas.

Posted by Joseph on Tuesday, December 18, Anno Domini 2012
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Monday, December 17, A.D. 2012
Omniscience and Synchronicity

A few months ago, Kristor posted a short essay on The Orthosphere about “Omniscience & Synchronicity” that is worth your time and reflection.

Posted by Joseph on Monday, December 17, Anno Domini 2012
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Monday, December 10, A.D. 2012
Obama’s Soviet Mistake

My parents were raised during the Cold War. They appear to be psychologically unable to see Russia as anything but the Eternal Menace to truth, justice, and the American way. So, whenever I argue that, for the last two decades, Russia has been moving toward a healthy, sane society while these United States of America have slouched ever more toward Gomorrah, my father erupts into a neocon media informed rant about Putin. Old habits die hard.

Despite this widespread disbelief, Marxism’s fertile plain is not Russia or even the still officially Communist Chinese Republic. Rather, the Soviet New Man finds his home in the decadent West with its nihilism and its vulnerability to soft (but ever hardening) totalitarianism. It is therefore with some ironic delight that I offer Xavier Lerma’s articles “Obama’s Soviet Mistake” and “Communist Victory Amerika” from the Russian Commies’ Pravda (!). Lerma appears to be Russia’s version of Ann Barnhardt.

Posted by Joseph on Monday, December 10, Anno Domini 2012
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Wednesday, December 5, A.D. 2012
Sailer Our Hume

Steve Sailer has been criticized for reducing politics and social issues to petty vices and concerns, but I find his writing anthropologically insightful. He makes candid observations of the human condition and of American life, though he may shy from panoptic theorizing and the “big questions.” In this way, he is like a contemporary American Hume. Materialist and nominalist though he be, Hume is a treasure of wisdom for his keen analysis of man.

Last month, Sailer posted a theory about the elite’s understanding of and relationship to Mexican immigrants: “What pundits really mean when they say Mexicans are ‘socially conservative.’” The whole article is worth reading, though the end interests me most, wherein Sailer opines why upper class whites welcome the ethnic displacement of working class whites:

I’ve been trying to figure out why upper middle class white people in, say, Marin County, people who are extremely concerned about optimizing the aesthetics of their lifestyles, like it when illegal immigrants push out the indigenous working class from their region. We’ve been through the cheap-labor aspects of this a million times, but I’m interested here in the pure psychology of why else you’d also support policies that drive out natives that speak your language and look like yourself.

Say you live on that lovely winding road in Marin County where George Lucas tried and failed for 15 years to get permission to convert 5% of his vast ranch into a movie studio. As a moderately wealthy homeowner, an average of three times per week you have male blue collar service workers come by to do work in your house and on your grounds.

Back in the Bad Old Days a couple of decades or so ago, the workers were third generation Californian Okies, real Grapes of Wrath types, or maybe some assimilated American-born Chicanos, or maybe some Okie-Chicano mixes. Now, they are all Mexicans or Central Americans, six inches shorter, and only the foreman speaks English.

Leaving aside the cost issue, why is that an improvement in your lifestyle?

I can imagine several reasons.

First, your workers now look poorer. That’s reassuring. That suggests they aren’t ripping you off by charging too much. In the old days, your workers were strapping big guys, and it gnawed away at you that you were paying them more than you had too. Sure, you could afford it, but, still ... it bothered you.

Second, the new guys don’t speak English, so you can’t understand them when they talk to each other, so they don’t get on your nerves as much when they talk about whatever low class things yard workers talk to each other about.

Third, most of your new workers don’t try to talk to you because they don’t speak English. Remember the plumber with the biker sideburns who always wanted to talk to you about the Raiders? Well, he moved to Idaho. Good riddance.

Fourth, you can’t understand the lyrics to their songs. Granted, the newcomers’ musical tastes are pretty dire, but at least it’s not Country, with all those Blue Collar Pride lyrics crafted in Nashville by Vanderbilt English majors to annoy people like you.

Fifth, their bumper stickers aren’t as obnoxious as the American proles’ bumper stickers were. Remember the pickup truck with all the NRA bumper stickers? It just drove you crazy. Well, maybe if you could read the Spanish bumperstickers you’d be offended, but you can’t, so you’re not.

Sixth, now you aren’t worried anymore about your wife or daughter taking a shine to some guy with a tool belt. (Look what happened to Larry David. Let that be a lesson to us all.) But it’s not going to happen if the guy with the tool belt is 5’2” and speaks Mixtec.

In summary, your service workers used to be real people to you, and that was a major hassle. Now, they are just The Other, and you like it like that.

Such ideas from Sailer upset more philosophically minded members of the Right, like Lawrence Auster, who attribute Americans’ insane political and social opinions to underlying leftist principles. However, I think that Sailer’s “lowminded” explanations hold much explanatory power. For most people are blind to and unconcerned with political, ethical, and metaphysical principles. Of course, the Zeitgeist and prevailing currents of thought affect the masses, but I am not confident that they truly undergird the opinions of the average man. A normal human being does not have a systematic understanding of the world. Joe Schmoe rather maintains a mess of contradictory opinions that he has inherited, gathered, or formed throughout life from his community, experience, and reflection, however meager it may be. These various forces ensnare ideas in the tangles of his mind, and he never bothers to unravel them to put them in order. So, ideologies move him just as his shortsighted drives to fulfill his appetites and to avoid unpleasantries. We should therefore pay attention to the observations of an honest, oxyblepsic man like Sailer.

Posted by Joseph on Wednesday, December 5, Anno Domini 2012
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