But, Bible Verses!

Lotta argument out there on the marriage redefinition thing over religious doctrine and Bible verses.  Quite understandable, as this is a freedom of conscience issue as much as it is a cultural issue.  If it really were a “why can’t we just get along” issue, I think it would have already been settled.  We were actually a long way toward getting it settled in the public conversation  — and pretty much in favor of tolerance and protection of these relationships without fundamentally redefining a basic cultural institution for 320 million people without their consent.

Well I ran across one of those arguments over at Pirate’s Cove, and there was the ubiquitous Z-type over there spewing out Bible verses about stoning people and such for various things, which we clearly do not do, and called them out for picking and choosing which Bible verses to follow…. along with the tired old “Christians hate gays” meme … well, I had to leave a comment.  Which follows:

It’s a myth that Christians hate gays, perpetrated by those who want you to be riled up at them. They conflate disapproval of behavior with hate. They are two very different things. But propagandists throughout history try to frame their arguments by stripping words of their meanings and by re-defining words as they understand the emotional power of some words over others.

Leaving Christianity aside, it’s hardly just Christians that eschew homosexuality. And if we’re concerned with religious liberty, then it really doesn’t matter why someone thinks something is right or wrong, whether he read it in a book, had a holy man tell him so, or just came up with it on his own. If he thinks something is wrong, that is his right to believe it, church or no church.

I myself, for the record, am not saying homosexuality is right or wrong here, I’m saying people have a right to their own conscience — which means THEY DO get to pick and choose which pieces of scripture to stick to, and which not to — and YOU do not get to choose them for them. One would think this would be reflexively clear, but it’s apparently not. So it doesn’t matter how many verses from the Bible you come up with to tell Christians what they should or should not believe. Religious liberty is just that.

Which also means they should not have to accept any behavior they do not wish to accept, and not to facilitate any activity they do not want to facilitate, to whatever degree they do or do not want to.

A lot of gay people actually get this. Not the activists, though. The activists and their allies are after something else — government-forced acceptance. Which is no better than government-forced acceptance of a particular establishment of religion.

I say that any society has the right to define its own cultural institutions, but that should come from within the society of people not from a board of unelected Ivy League, Ivory tower self-congratulatory elitists flipping definitions like toggle-switches in a giant social engineering experiment where people are little gears and light bulbs within a machine.

In the multi-cultural model, to the extent that it can even work there must be some level of respect for others’ beliefs and institutions. But one side shows nothing but contempt for them, and it’s not the Christian side doing it. It’s the activist side, projecting.

So spare us the various Biblical arguments, often taken out of context — and invention of rights that do not exist.

Let people choose who they want to associate with and how they behave toward each other in those groups, and let them choose whom not to associate with — and therefore the extent to which they wish to participate in the activities of other groups.

As Atheist Anarchist Christopher Cantwell put it,

“a “license” is an indicator that you do not have a “right” to do something. Licenses are a thing government issues, specifically to prevent someone from doing something, until they get government permission to so do. They are, by their very definition, a constriction on rights, a limiter of freedom. To license a thing is to outlaw it, and to then grant one permission to break that law. To say that you are fighting for gay “rights” by seeking to have licenses issued to them, is not just a complete failure to understand rights, it is a complete failure to understand rudimentary English.”

The real solution to this was to get the government out of it completely. I think I read somewhere that even in states where “gay marriage” was legal, only about 6 or 7% actually did do it, as this guy’s article underscores. There must have been some other reason it was really being pushed … and going back to Cantwell:

“The answer is quite simple. To expand federal authority, centralize power, and give the left a win that they would never be able to accomplish through elections. While portrayed as being a lessening of restrictions on gay people, it is an increase in the power of the court and of the federal government, which could just as easily be used to federally ban homosexuality entirely.”

So be careful what you ask for, and be careful how you go about getting it, and who you … (and I realize the irony of this metaphor) get into bed to do it with.

You, I, nobody — has the right to demand approval of any of our relationships. The government, especially the Federal government has no jurisdiction here unless the people, through their congress, decide to. And even then it is to be limited, through the courts, citing authority in the Constitution. It is not the court’s role to insert itself and invent rights out of thin air.

Externalizing Morality

One of the many, many (many many many) reasons I’m not a leftist is: I have an appreciation for precedent.  Or, if you prefer, I know the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have done unto you.  Or Thomas Hobbes’s version: Don’t do to others what you wouldn’t have done to yourself.

&c. Point is: You do something to someone, you set a precedent; you have no reasonable basis for complaint when the exact same thing is done to you.

Leftists clearly don’t have this.  I don’t know if it’s innate (r-selection), or learned, or what, but it makes having actual discussions with them next to impossible.  “Gay marriage today, polygamy tomorrow” literally doesn’t make sense to them.  They’re not lying — not all of them, anyway, and not consciously.  Ok, yes, the Politico types are — this went up the day after Obergefell — but the Sweet Aunt Polly types aren’t.  They really don’t see the connection there.  They don’t see precedent.

I wonder if this isn’t what Morgan was getting at with “externalysis,” here (please correct me if I’m wrong).  It seems to me that by outsourcing their thinking, especially their moral thinking, they can preen all they want, while all the while engaging in what we see as the grossest hypocrisy.

[Just you wait: Liberals are going to freak right the fuck out about polygamy, because it’s not cute tame Africans who want to practice it here in the good ol’ US of A.  It’s — ick! — Mormons, the most left-despised of all us benighted God-botherers]

Put simply, externalizing morality means: If it ain’t banned, it’s perfectly fine.

Example:  This is one of Al Gore’s houses

Gore Mansion 3This is Leo DiCaprio’s regular ride:

india-private-jet-1Pretty hypocritical for such “Green” folks, no?

Well, no, obviously not.  Not to them.  And the reason, I posit, is that while so many, many things are banned in order to Save the Earth ™, ginormous McMansions and Lear Jets aren’t.  We’re supposed to believe — and hell, maybe it’s true — that Al Gore’ six (or however many) mansions all have low-flow toilets, and Leo’s Learjet uses only those stupid twisty lightbulbs in the cocaine mirror.

When Congress gets around to banning those things, Leo and Al will happily stop using them.  I honestly think they — Leo and Al — really think this.

When you’ve empowered the State to distinguish right and wrong for you, then you’ve set up a situation where anything that isn’t officially wrong is right by default.  If it’s bad, there oughtta be a law.. but until there is, it’s good.

The endpoint of this, of course, is the classic description of life in North Korea: whatever isn’t banned is compulsory.  But until we reach that blessed utopia, we can live like kings, because it’s not hypocrisy — if it were, it’d be against the law.

On Tolerance, Disapproval, Respect, Acceptance, and Living Your Own Damned Life

So I got into a bit of a kerfuffle over this post on HKB.

Not exactly a kerfuffle, since the guy involved is an old friend, a really good guy — who cares about his gay friends and his straight ones as well.  He wasn’t being combative, really.  I think he just really missed my point. Which is not surprising given the way the argument’s been framed for a decade.

Here it is:

“It is not enough for the Left to live and let live. You must change your mind. You must not hold disfavored views. You must be the right sort of person. If you’re not, you will be muzzled.”

This is what has me worried.  Not dudes lying with dudes and chicks lying with chicks.

read more here.

To which I added this:

If you say anything that can possibly be construed as being “meh” on the practicality of gay marriage (which was, in practical terms, already “legal”*) and just not agreeing with the route taken by the activists, people will assume you hate gays and want to keep them from being happy.

So you can’t even have a proper discussion about it. The discussion was bypassed because, Shut Up, and the bullying worked on 5 justices.

*I’ve asked several people in the past several years just what is it, in real terms, that gays are not being allowed to do? Can they have sex with each other and not be thrown in jail? Can they have a ceremony that is to everyone there a real wedding ceremony? Can they call themselves “married”? Can their friends and anyone who is sympathetic with them call them married? Are they not being served in restaurants? Can they not spend the night in motels and hotels? Are they being turned away from hospitals? Just what, exactly, is “illegal” about it? That they can’t get a “license” to do these things? Why the hell do they need a license? (Why the hell do *I* need a license for that matter?)

Hell, they could apparently even force people to bake them cakes and take pictures of them if those bakers and photographers had moral objections to participating in the event.

No, it has *ALWAYS* been, for the activists at least, about *forced* acceptance — NOT tolerance. Tolerance is, “meh, I don’t care.” Acceptance is, “yes, this is good and right.” What they’ve wanted all along is to force everyone to say “yes, this is good and right” by force of law.

This is what is wrong with it. Has nothing to do with the Bible, or what kinds of “marriage” arrangements have existed in various cultures throughout history. It’s about government coercion.

This was the wrong way to do it. They already effectively had what they SAID they wanted, which is tolerance, and even acceptance by a good chunk of the population.

Just to make sure we’re clear on what I’m saying and what I’m not saying… read my actual post again. Is my problem with gay people, or with leftists? I think I’m pretty clear on that.

But because of how the entire argument has been successfully framed by the leftists, people cannot separate criticism of the court decision, or apprehension on what is to come without assuming they hate gay people, or at the very least don’t care about them.  If you express sympathy for the majority of Americans and frankly, people in the world that Marriage is between people of opposite sexes and with very few exceptions in history — always has been… when it’s been demanded that they toss their worldview out the window to accommodate this one … you’re just a hater.

It bugged me more this time because it was a friend and you want your friends to at least understand your position.  It was pretty clear we were talking about two different things.

In the discussion he asked if I knew any gay people.  I do.  I think the assumption is that I had some sort of misconception that they were all combative and out to destroy society.  Again, because of the assumptions injected by the Lakoffian language strategy of the left.

So as I lay there thinking (I do that a lot.  It’s not good for your sleep habits) trying to come up with a way to break out of the assumptions that come with the language constraints that have been successfully imposed on the subject, I suddenly (thankfully) came up with a perfect example that was right under my nose, literally. I hadn’t thought of it because I don’t dwell on it. I don’t feel victimized by it.

Here’s the deal.

In our eyes, my wife and I have been married for 23 years. In my parents’ eyes, due to their religious beliefs, we’re not married at all. You see, she is a divorcee, and there was no annulment. They wouldn’t come to our wedding. I knew they wouldn’t before I even invited them, but I invited them anyway, telling them I completely understood if they did not want to come.

Now, they still have us out to the house. We visit. We talk. We have a good time. They don’t hate me. They don’t hate her. Matter of fact they love her. Dad made it a point to pull me aside several months ago and tell me so.

But … if we were to spend the night there, we would be asked to sleep in separate beds. Because in their eyes, we are not married. I understand and respect their beliefs. I do not demand, much less ask that they accommodate us. Similarly, they wouldn’t come visit us in our home because of our living arrangement. They disapprove. They don’t condone it. I respect their beliefs. I do not feel ill treated. I do not feel humiliated. I do not feel “lesser”. That is what tolerance and respect looks like.

You see, disapproval is not the same thing as hate. Tolerance does not mean acceptance. In this story there is love, tolerance, disapproval, and respect. They are not mutually exclusive. The leftists have purposely, in a very Orwellian 1984-ish New Speak way (in the real world it would be more like Lakoffian way) — mainly through the media have shaped the way we even talks about this by choosing the language with which we talk about these things – and people have gotten very confused.  It’s no accident.

Keep in mind I myself am not sitting here saying gays should or shouldn’t be married, or that they’re not married. What I’m saying is that this will not be enough for the leftists. They are out to destroy, and this was just one issue they have usurped to help get that done.

There are gay leftists. And there are straight leftists who will wear the mantle to help destroy people they don’t like — namely the good people who love everyone but do believe that certain behavior is wrong, or that marriage is only between men and women. After all, it’s not exactly a radical view.

Tolerance is a two-way street. My prediction is that it will only go one way. Or else.

The Confederate Flag, Slavery’s Role in the Civil War, and Why Historical Literacy Doesn’t Mean a Thing

An interesting discussion going on over at Morgan’s.  I want to expand a bit on a point I made there.  I’m sure Umberto Eco and Dan Brown have put this more eloquently than I can, but symbols quickly take on a life of their own, outside — or even opposite — their historical context.  Here’s a familiar example:

untitledAsk any bong warrior on any campus in America what this means, and you’ll get some gassy bullshit about sticking it to The Man, man.  Crucially: you’ll get the same answer from people who know better.  Guevara’s real life and opinions are meaningless; his face on a t-shirt = rebellion.

The Confederate Battle Flag is going down a similar road.

just to make sure **everyone** is offended

just to make sure **everyone** is offended

As the battle lines stand now, one side says the Battle Flag stands for racism; the other says it stands for heritage.  That’s about to change.

Now, I could point out that slavery was the proximate cause of the Civil War, not the root cause, in the same way taxation was the proximate cause of the Revolutionary War (ever tried explaining the Revolution to a bright fifth grader?  It’s dollars to donuts they’ll say something like “wow, all those people got killed because Sam Adams didn’t want to pay his taxes?”).  I could say that the root causes were two fundamentally different notions of government, and the citizen’s relationship to the state.  We could have a long, interesting, and fruitful discussion about that (which seems to be where it’s heading over at Morgan’s, provided nobody checks the authenticity of my George Washington quote).

But none of it matters, because nobody who’s actually going to be wearing the Confederate flag on his clothing, or screaming for the flag-wearers to be jailed, knows a single fucking thing about the Civil War.  I have fairly extensive experience with the American educational system, and I promise you, most folks can’t get the date of the battle of Gettysburg right within 50 years.  Few if any have even heard of John C. Calhoun, much less know anything about his ideas.  And — see above — it wouldn’t matter if they did.  Keep gazing into Che’s eyes until you get it.

That being the case, the Confederate Battle Flag will soon come to mean nothing more than “rebellion” to people who are sick to death of being PC-whipped by a remote, clueless minority and their government lapdogs (as, I’m told, it already does in many parts of Eastern Europe).  And because this is Weimar America, the issue will never, ever die, until the “republic” does — I promise you, my friends, every single Republican candidate will be invited to disavow the CBF by the media at every single event from now until doomsday.

Pretty soon — if it hasn’t already happened — there will be exactly two possible opinions on the CBF: the SJW version, or the anti-SJW version.  You can either swallow the some-animals-are-more-equal-than-others Stalinist SJW bullshit, or you can side with General Lee.

History ain’t got nothing to do with it.

Synchronicity – UPDATED 2x

Just as I’m writing about how the Left seems to be doing its damnedest to turn the Culture War into an actual shooting war, along comes the gay marriage ruling.

We knew it was coming, of course, but there was a sliver of hope. That’s gone now.

Hey, America — you’ve just been told, in the clearest possible terms, that your religious convictions mean nothing.  Your votes mean nothing.  You will be assimilated.  You can vote for anything you like, you can appeal to the Constitution all you like, but none of it matters.

You are ruled by a quinqumvirate in black robes, and their power is absolute.

Because I’m a conservative, I’m aware there’s history before 2008.  We’ve seen this exact thing before, y’all.

It didn’t end well.

UPDATE: Between ‘em, the Supreme Court and Her Majesty have all but handed Mike fuckin’ Huckabee the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination:

“The Supreme Court has spoken with a very divided voice on something only the Supreme Being can do-redefine marriage. I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.”

The other GOP candidates will, of course, fall all over themselves explaining that while they personally believe marriage is between a man and a woman, the American people and the law have spoken blah blah blah.  Which will fail because a) that “personally” stuff only works when the media asks you no followup questions whatsoever (that is, when you’re a Democrat), and b) Huckabee has already positioned himself as the Voice of The Opposition, and c) he’s already been so maligned by the media that there’s no shit left to fling, and d) as I and pretty much everyone else has been saying for the last two election cycles, Democratic tactics all boil down to “vote for me, ignorant peons!”, which means that e) any GOP politician who displays even the smallest hint of possible testicular fortitude is going to garner the vote of anyone who wants to spit directly in the Left’s eye, regardless of his platform.

I wondered who’d play Kurt von Schleicher in our shitty, big budget reboot of the Weimar Republic; I guess now I know.

UPDATE 2.0: It’s starting.  Ace of Spades has millions of readers.  And he asks a question that lots and lots and LOTS of Americans will be asking themselves in the coming weeks:

So, the government is officially just an outlaw now, huh?

Then what basis is there for any of us to obey it any longer?

Note, please, that this question has an answer, a simple, obvious one — brute force.  But note also that law enforcement types obviously tend to be law and order types.  It’s gonna be reeeeeeeealy interesting to see what happens when the first majority-white protest turns violent (and the summer’s just beginning).  Will the cops fire?  Will the National Guard?

On Staying in One’s Place

This started as a reply to Gary and Robert Mitchell Jr., below, but I think it has above-the-fold applicability.

Robert Mitchell Jr. writes

A war? A change to “re-roll” the die? Yes, they want that, they have wanted it since the 70s (Thus all the Democrat Terrorist groups) and they think they can win it.

“Re-roll the die” is an important phrase.  It implies an outcome, and it shows — as if any more proof were needed — that the Left has no real idea what that outcome should be.  That’s one of my favorite ironies of Weimar America: They call themselves “progressives,” our Marxists manque, but they don’t realize that “to progress” is a transitive verb.  Towards what are we progressing, comrades?

Marx at least had an answer.  A retarded answer, of the kind only an aspergery intellectual who had never worked a day in his life could come up with, but an answer nonetheless:

Their dream – the Communist Society – was a free association of completely free men, where no separation between ‘private and common interest’ existed: a society where ‘everyone could give himself a complete education in whatever domain he fancied’…In their Communist Society… a man would be given ‘the possibility to do this today and that tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, to go fishing in the afternoon, to do cattle breeding in the evening, to criticise after dinner’, as he chose (‘The German Ideology’, MEGA, 1/5).

“Criticize,” in case you don’t speak Hegel, refers to stuff like opera and poetry.  After a nice leisurely day of hunting, fishing, and cattle breeding, you’re going to sit down and watch you some opera, because real people are really like that.

Our “””progressives””” lack even this.  They’re so eager to shove everyone into his/her/xis/whatever little box that they never spend word one describing what we’ll all do once we get there.  One gets the sense, based on their most recent freakouts, that we’ll all play DepressionQuest and read “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love,” but it’s not clear — since blacks, whites, trannies, etc., are mutually incomprehensible — if each identity group will have its own version of those, or what.

One does get the sense, however, that Our Betters really, truly believe that everyone will stay in his/her/xer/whatever assigned box, forever.  The problem is getting them there.  And the major problem with that, it seems, is identification. They’ve got “woman,” “black,” and “gay” pretty well figured out — though the Sarah Palins and Clarence Thomases of the world keep screwing it up — but it’s really tough sorting out the good cishetwhites from the bad cishetwhites.

The solution?  As Gary writes

The good people of Charleston, by failing to turn to hatred and violence, thwarted the MSM’s favored narrative, forcing them to settle for a shoddy Plan B, this stupid nonsense about the Confederate flag. This was the best they could do, but somehow the story had to be about racist whites oppressing blacks. If you didn’t know any better, you might actually think those fine folks in the MSM would like to see a race war.

Indeed they would!  Nothing like violence to separate the wheat from the chaff, especially when the badthinkers all conveniently label themselves by donning Confederate flags.

And when that glorious day comes, comrades — when everyone is in his box; when each person can be exactly ONE thing and nothing else, forever — then we shall have utopia.  And we shall all forget, at the wave of the +20 Wand of Social Justice, that Our Betters have spent the last 100 years telling each one of these boxes that every other box hates them and lives only to oppress them.  And nobody shall ever have any desire to leave his/her/xis/whatever box, because why would he/she/xe/whatever? It’s utopia in there.  If some boxes are more equal than others, well, is that not Social Justice?

They really do seem to think like this.  Slap a label on it, and you’ve altered reality.  And people will just accept their labels, and keep right on doing what they’ve been doing, because… because.

That’s the endpoint of “progress,” comrades — complete and total stasis.

How fucking noble.  And if we have to start a race war to do it, says the media, well… omelettes, eggs, you know the rest.  At least it’s clickbait.

Are They TRYING to Start a War?

You know, if I were really, honestly trying to transform the Culture War into an actual shooting war, I’d do something much like the current campaign to ban the Confederate flag.

If you really want to rally your opposition, give them a symbol.  Sorry for quoting myself, but this is the kind of thing I’m talking about:

For many ordinary folks in Weimar, the one thing you weren’t allowed to be was German.  The Kaiser, the Imperial War Flag, Die Wacht am Rhein… for a nation that really only became a nation in the 1870s, i.e. in the crucible of war and empire, those things were Germany.  And those things were banned.  You could be a communist, sure, or some flavor of “social democrat,” or an artist, or a cabaret singer, or a morphine addict, or a homosexual, or a wage slave to foreign banks…. but a German?  Verboten!

As I’ve said many times, a major part of Hitler’s appeal to ordinary Germans was that his very presence was a middle finger to weak-kneed liberal internationalists.  The Commies want to sell you out to foreign (Jewish) intellectuals, he told his audiences, while the Social Democrats want to sell you out to foreign (Jewish) banks.  A vote for the NSDAP is a thumb in both their eyes.

Put on the swastika armband and let them all know where you stand, he told them… and they did, and when they looked around, they saw hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands of people just like them.

Our SJWs are creating exactly those kinds of conditions today.  It won’t take much for folks to start wearing Confederate flag patches on their clothing, in mute protest at everything that’s being shoved down our throats — all the so-called “equality” and “social justice” that really boils down to this:

vJL5ldLet me be clear on this, lest anyone be tempted to miss my point: One doesn’t make sophisticated arguments with symbols.  The actual history behind the “Confederate flag” doesn’t matter, because nobody cares about that stuff.  All that matters is that people like that “let us abolish you” chick hate it.  One doesn’t make sophisticated arguments with selfies, either, and everybody knows what “let us abolish you” means. By pushing things in this direction, SJWs are quite literally daring folks to slap Confederate flags all over their clothing, as their way of saying “no, sit down and let us abolish you!”

And the Confederate flag-wearers are armed.

Thank God the Charleston church shooter was a disgusting omega dreg, and looked it.  But the kid some media-frenzied Michael Brown goes out and shoots in “revenge” might not be.  The absolute nightmare scenario would be a ghetto thug gunning down a cute blond girl with a Confederate flag patch.  Any guesses as to what happens then?  Anyone want to lay odds on this not happening sometime in the next year or so?

The media sure as hell seems eager for it to happen.

… and vanished in a puff of logic

donezalSo the Progressive deconstruction of America continues. The president of the Spokane, WA NAACP – Rachel Dolezai … has resigned. She’s genetically white as her two white parents (whom she has disowned) pointed out in the picture on the right. But I guess she’s “identified” as black.

Which raises some questions. If a white woman colors her face to look black, is she guilty of the dreaded “crime” of appearing in “black face” … or not — just because she “identifies” as black? If it’s ok to liberals to “identify” as any number of gender pronouns, why not “trans-racial”?

After all, they’re the ones who came up with the term “`white` Hispanic” when they needed to “white-ify” a guy who they so desperately wanted to be white after he had killed a black man — when he turned out to be half Hispanic. And liberal hero Elizabeth Warren listed herself as a minority (a Native American one) in professional directories that are commonly used by recruiters …

caitlynscatIf gender is a social construct, why can’t race be a social construct?  As a matter of fact, it largely is thanks to our progressive betters.  If you don’t behave or believe, socially, the way your particular race is “supposed” to according to the social construct progressives demand, then you’re not REALLY that race.  You’re an Uncle Tom.  An Oreo.  A “White Hispanic”.

If black conservatives such as Thomas Sowell or Herman Cain or Larry Elder or any of a host of others can be considered “not really black”, why can’t a white woman be considered “not really white”?

If you can pick your race or gender, even from 50+ invented genders that only you yourself may understand but still demand to be referred to as … why stop there?

If you can be trans-racial, can you be trans-national? Are illegal aliens coming here really “Americans” who just happened to be born in the wrong country? Can I sue you for discrimination if you won’t hire me and I just happen to identify as “black” or “Hispanic” or “Native American”?

contradictionsCan you keep me out of the women’s restroom?  Can you kick a woman out of a gym for complaining that a man is in the womens’ locker room?

My question is, have we finally reached a point where the progressive deconstruction of language and logic must finally collapse on itself?  Or will we continue to allow ourselves to be bullied into submission to the bizarre?

What are the rules?  Are there any rules?  If so, who gets to make them?  Courts? Bureaucracies?

We the People?  Naahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! 

mansplainingBefore you go accusing me of “white-man-splaining“, I should let you know.  I’m really a genderless alien.  From a species that used to inhabit this planet before humans arrived and pushed us out.  I’ve always felt that way.

And I’m royalty.

Das Kapital, Imperialism, Genocide and Trading Stuff

I saw a post that linked to an article with commentary saying that the thrust of the article was right. I think one of the seeds of the article was sort-of right — that being I never learned about King Leopold’s genocide and I don’t remember dwelling on the trail of tears. But the article itself basically blames those things on capitalism, which it equates with imperialism and by proxy with racism … and of course that’s where it lost me.

Since the commentary asked that people look these things up — and look them up they should — I thought I should provide some counter-commentary to help balance some of the propaganda one would likely encounter looking these things up. It’s ubiquitous.

Now some of what I say here, especially regarding the origins of the term “Capitalism” I must give a hat-tip to Severian – otherwise I wouldn’t have known, but I have also verified it in articles such as this one.

I learned about the Trail of Tears in history class, though I never connected it with Jackson (mainly because as teenager I was, sadly, as most teenagers are — not that interested since it didn’t obviously directly affect me) until my guitar instructor brought it up over a $20 bill I was paying him with.  I’d never heard of Leopold, either. But I don’t think either of them have anything to do with “Capitalism”.

It seems as though mixing “capitalism” up in this — to me and others like me, it’s a nonsequitur — though when you understand the origins of the term itself, it’s not surprising that a piece like this would incorporate it as a “cause” of slavery and genocide and all sorts of things.

Before that word came about, it was just people trading stuff they had for stuff they wanted, where basically both parties gleaned some advantage over their previous situation, in other words, the both “profited” from the transaction. Under a monetary system where currency is used as a versatile storage device for such transactions, profit became synonymous with money, money with wealth and on up.

But the label was pretty much invented by Marx to smear free markets — in other words, people owning property and being free to trade it for property others had as described above … in other words, being human. It means you and I work out what stuff we each have is worth rather than having some arbitrary value set by some third-party bureaucratic price-panel. Or, as Severian put it, people flipping terms as switches in a giant Econ 101 equation and pretending that the equation dictates peoples’ behavior instead of the equation being a feeble attempt to describe real behavior.

The word first came into use not long after the publication of “Das Kapital”. But to me it just means what von Mises thought it meant, “if it means anything, it means the market economy”. To equate it with imperialism, slavery, and genocide is to misunderstand it, and it’s no accident that that equivocation has been made over and over again. That’s exactly why the word was invented.

Lots of atrocities against massive numbers of people have been carried out over the years, long before this “capitalism” word came up. Ethnocentrism has been around ever since different groups of humans noticed that other groups of humans looked or talked differently. Ethnocentrism has been used (and is still used by some societies today -though not generally in the West) to justify treating others as sub-human and therefore not subject to the rules which govern societies (internally) that champion market economies.

Internally, don’t steal, don’t kill, don’t enslave … that’s been around for a very long time and those rules applied (and even then, as with all rules, the rules were broken by some). It was ethnocentrism that was the problem when it came to dealing with other peoples — whether it was market economies, Imperial states, or National Socialism (for those reading along but haven’t spent a lot of time thinking and reading about this stuff, that’s the Nazis, Fascists, and others like them). Over the years, it has been more and more recognized, not less and less recognized — that we’re all made of the same stuff by the same God (though more and more deity is being smeared out of it, probably to our own demise)… say, it kind of goes back to “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”.

A fact lost in the past several decades is that the concept came directly from Adam Smith et al when they talked about those rights being to “life, liberty, and property”. One of the sad legacies of the fact that our nation was born with the cancer of slavery already burned into the fabric (which was hardly unique at the time or in previous times) was that the wording was changed to “pursuit of happiness” mainly to leave the door open to abolition. Since slave owners pretty much considered their slaves “property”, they would easily be able to argue that their right to that “property” was protected. So it was a deft move and a good one for the time being … but today that wording gets abused for different purposes. Destructive ones. But — I digress, as I often do. What I mean to say is that things have gotten better, not worse in that regard.

When I and other defenders of capitalism say “capitalism”, we don’t mean “anything goes” or even “anything goes as long as I can pull the wool over your eyes.”

We mean what I said above. I get to own stuff, you get to own stuff, and that means we have control over what we own — including trading stuff we own with each other so that we now have different sets of stuff than what we started with, but we’re happier with our respective new sets of stuff. And when I say own stuff, I also mean we own ourselves, and that we can trade our labor as a form of “stuff” for other stuff.

That’s it.

SJW in a Sentence (Corrected)

Correction (6/16/15): Not written by George Rape Rape Martin; it’s a customer review on Amazon.  We shall not accuse Rape Rape of that which he is not guilty.  Thanks Nate!!

 

*****

SJWs always lie, but since they also always project, they often end up telling the truth inadvertently.  As here.  George Rape Rape Martin, on John C. Wright’s essay collection Transhuman and Subhuman:

Rather, reading the author’s extremely non-mainstream views felt like being at ground zero of a nuclear explosion after being dosed with anthrax and sprayed with nerve gas.

Speaks volumes, don’t it?

Every leftist I’ve ever met has informed me — usually within five minutes of our first acquaintance — that liberals are all about teh free thoughtz.  Academics routinely decree that conservatives have no place in academia, because we’re just not capable of handling their out-of-the-box cogitations .  It’s right-wingers, says everyone in the media, who defend the status quo at all costs.

And yet here’s Rape Rape, bitching through Dorito fumes that science fiction — science fiction! — dared challenge his worldview.