Monday, November 16, 2009

The necessity of debates

When two people argue over opposing ideals, that is a dialectical argument. In most cases, this is the formula used throughout American discourse. The sides to all our philosophical and moral dilemmas have already been established, and most sides have been given an ideological title that defines their full political or religious position.

So it goes. Every day our friends and family state what they are "for" and the only choice we have is to agree or defend the predetermined "opposition" side. If we do not agree with their stand on any issue, our loved and cherished ones are allowed (in a dialectical debate) to insist we hold another set of beliefs, that they will name for us.

Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne wrote in 2002 that the last great debate in American politics would be between the Libertarians and the Communitarians. It was most depressing to see that the Libertarians had no intention of showing up for that great debate. When I investigated the Libertarian principles more in depth, I found their party founder to be a free trade internationalist. So the last great debate was supposed to be between two sides holding the exact same ultimate values and principles. It's no wonder the Libertarians shrank from it and refused to even identify it by name in their official party publications. Rank and file Libs don't have a clue what communitarianism is, and it's been the prevailing policy objective since 1992! Of course that goes for registered Republicans and Democrats as well, who obviously never listen to what Bill Clinton keeps saying to Canadians.

I started pestering the Communitarian Network and specifically Amitai Etzioni for an open, public debate about their Platform and 2020 vision for the United States in 2003. That was the original purpose for the ACL website. I presented my thesis in ASA format and asked for peer reviews. I asked for one college program in the entire United States to consider including anti communitarian studies as part of their pro communitarian curriculum. I kept trying in various ways to present another view of communitarianism to academia, but somewhere along the way I lost interest in pushing up that river. The only view of communitarianism allowed in US schools is positive; all opposition has been silenced, before it even materialized.

The Communitarians' problem with participating in real debates with real Americans is their philosophical foundation is entirely based in the Hegelian dialectic. Their final synthesis between all contradictions is supposed to be so perfect it gives rise to no anti thesis. There can be no valid objections to the ultimate 3rd way, otherwise it can not be ultimate.

So the goal of all dialectically trained change agents is to keep the debates within the confines of the dialectic, reduce our arguments down to two sides (thesis v antithesis) and never allow the debate to become a debate against the synthesis (communitarianism, 3rd Way, 3rd Sector).

What I need to decide is whether to engage in arguments with people who practice the dialectic. And how tricky do I have to become in order to force them into debating the ultimate synthesis?

The debate with Myers extended into a debate with Vinay, the creator of Hexayurts, who does not claim to be a communitarian, yet here I am accusing him of being one. That makes me just as gulity of telling him what his side is as people who identify me as a Libertarian or an Anarchist. This is a real dilemma for me. I don't want to box anyone into what I identify as their ideology. Does it matter that I can find many, many communitarian ideals in his proposals and manifesto? How am I supposed to debate communitarian principles endorsed by men like Vinay and Myers if they themselves do not identify their ideas as communitarian?

I am really not interested in debating any one of the thousands of theses and antitheses that led to the final communitarian synthesis. If I'm going to put my time into it, I want to debate the whole communitarian system as a whole, and as it exists NOW, all around the world. Where is THAT debate? That's the debate someone needs to have with Obama when he runs next time.


P. Barnes said...

It's interesting timing also that the old t.v. series the Prisoner has now returned with a new face and an old message, let's see if anyone picks up on it. Ian McKellen plays No. 2 the "unmutual" problem protagonist.

boojahadeen said...

"And how tricky do I have to become in order to force them into
debating the ultimate synthesis?"

Matthew 10:16
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves:
be therefore wise as serpents,
and guileless as doves.

Niki, Can the wolves discern the sheep from sheepdogs in drag?

Anonymous said...

My head hurts. Are we in a time loop?


david gordon bain said...

There will never, ever be any 'final, ultimate, Absolute Synthesis'. Hegel was dead wrong on that account. The only final synthesis -- is death.

David Gordon Bain,

Author of Hegel's Hotel.

Keoni Galt said...

I've found that trying to even make people aware of the dialectical trap they are caught in is nearly impossible...let alone even getting them to understand what communitarianism is!

Most people are communitarian's because they've been brainwashed and programmed with it's ideology their entire lives.

The only people who become aware of exactly what the REAL issues going are about, are those of us that have done enough reading and research to ascertain the veracity of the New World Order global governance movement is very real and very much in the process of taking over.

And most people are simply sheeple, baa baa baa baa -ing their side of the dialectical belief system.

I believe you're contemplating an exercise in futility. May as well try to convert an orthodox Jew to Catholicism.

I think you've done more than enough in putting the truth out there via the ACL. People looking for the truth will eventually find you on the internet.

overtheedge said...

Mayhaps my failure to take any debating courses leaves me with a distorted idea of its purpose. I thought debate was a mechanism of learning common concepts, gaining new perspectives and data in a public forum.

It is fundamentally impossible to debate with anyone that has elevated their stance aka belief to that of a religion. It is ever more impossible to engage them when they know that their position isn't tenable when individual rights are brought into the debate.

Community demands commonalty of ethos. This can only work when the commonalty is from the bottom up never top down which is just slavery. BTW the word society doesn't exist in the Constitution. Any and all societal rights are secondary to individual rights.

You can eat the elephant if you take just one bite at a time. Gain a few fellow eaters and the elephant goes down quicker. Get enough eaters and the elephants go elsewhere to graze.

You might wanna grab another load of firewood, its -18 and dropping.

Anonymous said...

Just an interesting (to me) aside. Visiting Cumbey's blog again. Dorothy, a Jew, is now accusing the Condit guy of being a big anti-semite. So many of the people who post there are so obsessed about anti-semitism. I think Condit is a guy who exposed voter fraud.

the tent lady said...

Thanks Paul, I'll check it out. Nord knows about it but hasn't seen it either. Maybe we can order it on netflix.

Jeff I had to read that a couple times before it sunk in.. :)

Yes my Pete, "thinking we are changing but only rearranging"

So nice of you to drop by David, and to offer new information about Hegel. That hardly ever happens. Would you say that Talmudic dialectics have the same ultimate end, and that all dialectical conflicts lead only to death? I'll have to think about how your thoughts on the final synthesis plays into what the DLC called their Ultimate Third Way. Hegel is finally being included in the lists of philosophers whose ideas contributed to communitarianism. I have shown ample evidence communitarianism is the synthesis in the Hegelian dialectic. Would you say communitarianism is death?

Thanks Keoni, Nordica's sentiments exactly..heh. So I spent the night revising the ACL homepage. :)

overthedge you are so right about what happens when individual rights enters the debates.. I never saw it like that but it's exactly what happens, every time. I used to be accused of being an Individualist in the rudest ways and it took me a while to understand that tactic. Bobby Garner helped me a lot with that whole piece. Now all I have to do is find more people who have the same appetite for freedom? and it's 40 below tonight and I'm just so glad I only have to carry the wood in now and don't have to chainsaw it or split it myself.

I think Condit was somehow also associated with Hayfield and his whole Wizard of Oz Fusionist crowd, one of whom calls herself Dorothy and she's a real creepy obnoxious person, much like Cumbey's Dorothy. I know Condit has a connection to Catholic Distrbutivists (who really don't like Jews) who publish religious books in New Hampshire, and he may be a "member" of Darren Weeks' Govern America too.

david bain said...

Good morning Niki,

Sorry, I left myself wide open to mis-interpretation. I will try to clarify what I mean by 'the only Ultimate Synthesis being death'.

Every minute we are alive both the mind and the body are both constantly thrown into imbalance or dis-equilibrium. It is the nature of life. If I step up from my chair here, my body is thrown into imbalance until something happens in my brain, or more specifically I believe, in my inner ear, to restore the balance. In the language of Gestalt Therapy, we are constantly 'creating' and 'destroying' or 'opening' and 'closing' -- 'new gestalts'. If I am hungry, my body is thrown out of balance until I eat -- and then my body is restored to balance.

Both internally and externally, we spend our whole lives seeking to 'restore lost balance' and for every person this perception of 'what we want and/or need to restore our sense of personal balance -- is different. On the grandest of all scales, we can say that this is our personal and philosophical quest for 'Utopia'. Plato chased his own particular vision of Utopia, Aristotle his, Kant his, Fichte his, Schelling his, Hegel his, and today, I am pursuing my own particular 'Utopian Vision' on Hegel's Hotel, while you, Niki, pursue yours over here on Living Outside The Dialectic. Communitarianism, for some people, might be viewed as a name that they give to their own personal quest for Utopia, and dare I say it, 'Anti-Communitarianism' -- for those of you who don't like the vision and/or the taste of how they perceive 'Communitarianism' -- becomes a rebellion, an anti-thesis, and an counter-vision, a counter-Utopia against both Hegel and his ideal of 'The Ultimate Synthesis' as well as the whole vision of a 'Communitarian Ideal Utopia'.

One of the problems is that 'Communitarianism' becomes such a huge abstraction that it could/can easily imply 8 billion different 'sub-Communitarian Utopias'. I like my personal freedom and rights just as much as you obviously do Niki, and I do not support any type of 'Utopian System' that decreases my personal liberties and rights in the name of 'Big Government'.

But more to the point is this: As long as we are living and breathing, there will never, every be any 'Absolute Synthesis and Harmony' -- even within ourselves, let alone in the context of trying to find any kind of 'perfect harmony' with our spouse, our family, our neighbors, other countries, and all levels of municipal, state or provincial, and federal government. 'Like the sound of one hand clappin', it just ain't going to happen.' (Bob Dylan). So when I say that the only 'Ultimate Synthesis' is death, what I mean is that as long as people are living, breathing, eating, and trying to make a living, there will always be both personal and civil 'disharmony' in always changing proportions -- it is the nature of the beast of living.

So for any one person to say that there is any one 'Final, Ultimate Conflict Resolution and/or Synthesis' out there (i.e., Hegel), that person simply does not understand the dynamics of living and man's constant quest for 'equilibrium' as long as he is alive and breathing.

Thus, the only 'Final Synthesis' -- is death.

I hope that helps to clear things in terms of what I mean.

Thank you for your time,

David Gordon Bain,

Author of Hegel's Hotel