Teaser Post: The Mind/Heart Dichotomy – Feeling Our Way to the Police State, Without Thinking.

Mark Hubbard's picture
Submitted by Mark Hubbard on Thu, 2012-09-06 04:46

Cross post from Life Behind The IRon Drape.

Only my best posts going up on SOLO.

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It appears that each successive generation has to re-learn the wisdom of previous generations by painful experience. I was reminded of this when reviewing a disrespectful movie made on the Iron Lady, combined with discussions on the Internet over the last two weeks, and a dreadful piece published in the Dominion three weeks ago by Massey tax lecturer,  Deborah Russell, that has been sublimating angrily at the back of my mind.

 Many years ago I earned my undergraduate degree in accounting studies, and honours in accountancy, from Massey University. However, if Deborah Russell had been lecturing, I might have walked out on principle and joined the navy, for in 2014 the war on freedom goes up a notch, and as a free man, I don't particularly want to be ‘in country’, given freedom has already been irretrievably lost, and I have little stomach to watch the victors sacking what's left of our liberty, while taking their spoils through the tax system … but I get ahead of myself. I apologise for being about to commit the sin of a long post, but I’m bringing lots of strands of recent thinking together here, so I can clear my head and move onto other topics. (Einstein said the brain was like a sponge: once it was full, to get a new idea in, you had to first squeeze out an old one, so I’m squeezing the pips of my mind).

 As stated, my further step toward this post was in a twitter debate with two middle aged men who work in the mainstream media (MSM), where one of them angrily threw at me the accusation that ‘libertarians don't like people’, which closed the argument for them. Unknown to me, for all this time, I was, apparently, a stereotypical ‘people hater’, and beyond contempt. I sat up from my corn flakes on that one, a globule of dirty brown organic soy milk pulp trembling on my lip – I’ve grown into this issue with lactose, unfortunately - and sat there wondering what type of simple minds could conceive such offensive nonsense, and stunned, frankly, that these two men purport to be from that once noble fourth estate that is charged with delivering news content to the masses. And then I remembered the most memorable scene from The Iron Lady, as commented on in my review, as well as recalling my deconstruction of the philosopher, Hume, that malevolent man who believed morality could not be derived from reason, in this review of Jenny Erdal’s novel, The Missing Shade of Blue, and it clicked: these men from the MSM weren't thinking, and they're probably incapable of it. They were feeling. They spend their lives and careers feeling, not thinking about issues. Thus in place of philosophy, economic theory, politics, they basically just have emotions about things, and then emote on them.

 And then a third MSM man - are you getting worried about your news content yet? - accused me of being wrong in another argument because of my statement moral relativism is evil, and thus I think in absolutes, and he felt that won the argument for him, by default. I was on my coffee by this stage and getting a bit giddy on it all: these MSM men were going to drive me to hard liquor, usurious excise taxes and all, by lunchtime. This third man had lobbed that one at me as an insult, without realising I believe it to be far from a failing, but a strength in myself. And then he said something amazing: that there was no such thing as an absolute, and thus there was never anything more than a bounded liberty.

 The penny finally dropped.

 I replied to him, quoting Orwell’s mantras of the police state: war is peace, freedom is slavery, and then joined the dots for him to the twenty first century where liberty, now, is bounded, sadly.

 Curious, I asked him who set the boundaries, and could some people doing so perhaps be more equal than others, just like in George Orwell’s novel, Animal Farm? For example, the tyranny of the majority who make my vote irrelevant. But really I’d lost interest as I'd figured it out. In debates with the first two gentlemen, I constantly had to type ad hominem in the hope of them coming back with an argument. They accused me of the same in return – it’s the Internet, remember, - and not, I swear, because I deserved it, I was arguing my case, as ever: perhaps they’d just learned to spell ad hominem, finally, and looked its meaning up in the dictionary.

And so, as I’m about to tortuously expound, I’ve re-learned why our social democracies were always going to end with individuals living in the jail of state, liberty bounded, yet again. Christopher Hitchens laconic dad, Eric, a commander in the Royal Navy who sadly died a bookkeeper after the British post-war government sold out the very men who had kept that country free on pain of their lives, once told his young son that his 'socialism was built on sand', and Hitch, indeed, did grow out of it, as I’ve spent much time hoping more of us would, though don't seem to. But it would be more apt to say it is worse than that, far more vicious, in fact, for socialism is built on feeling – on feeling about the human condition, not thinking about it philosophically. Which turns me nicely back to Deborah Russell, another feeler, not thinker, but rather scarier than these last three lads for being a tax lecturer who has recently - she was earnest to point out in her piece - quote, joined the labour party. Can free men already feel that movement deep in their gut? It’s not stomach ache, it’s moral nausea, or perhaps as the nurses would call it, moral distress.

 And for those of you who are seduced by the politics of feeling, rather than thinking, because we’re all ‘nice, caring’ people, right, at least we need to be seen to be caring: I can also print here how the next piece I post will end – think of this as my interim warning …

 For those who would cradle our lives in the arms of the caring state, remember from the atrocities of the twentieth century, there is nothing more vicious than affairs of the heart gone wrong, where emotions have trounced the civilised head of reason, and don't think that modern day Europe, Asia and the Pacific, can’t get back to that in a heartbeat. Be wary of politicians who wear their hearts on their sleeves, for they will likely be advocating policies that create and then cement in dependence,  poverty, and a destructive, Luddite xenophobic nationalism, not the free and prosperous society born of the refulgent mind that refuses to be dimmed.

 This is important, watch for the mother-load post coming next week, 'The Bride of Gramsci', in which I really do solve life, the Universe, and everything concerned with our destruction under the modern, caring, welfare states we've voted in; and being a thinking man, I’m even going to give it to you for nothing, out of the goodness of my heart ….

 


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Richard: I've certainly read

Mark Hubbard's picture

Richard: I've certainly read Hume was quite the urbane, Scottish gentleman.

Shane: there's no problem with mindful generosity. In fact, it's good.

I am looking forward to reading

Shane Pleasance's picture

this, but you know what you can do with that 'goodness' in your heart, don't you, Hubbard?!

Mark

Richard Goode's picture

the philosopher, Hume, that malevolent man who believed morality could not be derived from reason

Did you ever actually get to meet Hume? He was "a man of mild dispositions, of command of temper, and of an open, social, and cheerful humour, capable of attachment, but little susceptible of enmity."

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