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A cautionary note to the politically correct 'progressives'

No matter how strongly we believe that our opinions are true we should not ban or censor opposing views because if you are right the truth can only be strengthened by open debate

The despotic nature of truth in politics

Watching the  lawyers on the Mueller inquisition being interrogated themselves is to to privy to spinmeisters at work in the art of of self-serving prevarication. It is as if they are inadvertently paying homage to Nietzsche (Human, All too Human) or Oscar Wilde's (The Decay of Lying’) in a defence of  fabulation or plain lying.  In this discussion one is not referring to the Big Lie, the Orwellian reversal of the truth typical of totalitarian societies.

So what did these 'greats' claim about telling the truth.  ‘Convictions,’ Nietzsche said, ‘are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.’ Elsewhere, he went even further, arguing for the paradoxical need ‘to recognize untruth as a condition of life’. The most trenchant consideration in the matter of  a lack of candour, relativising  of truthfulness, porky pies (Cockney rhyming slang for lies) is probably to be found in Hannah Arendt’s celebrated, 'Truth and Politics’ and ‘Lying in Politics’. ‘The deliberate falsehood and the outright lie, used as legitimate means to achieve political ends,’ she soberly notes in the latter, ‘have been with us since the beginning of recorded history.' Truthfulness has never been counted among the political virtues, and lies have always been regarded as justifiable tools in political dealings.’ It follows that 'truth' can not be construed or deified as a criterion of ultimate value.  Well, not in politics.
Wilde’s argument may seem a bit whimsical in that Wildean way; Arendt is the more compelling  as her argument is buttressed by a more fundamental concern, which she calls the ‘despotic character of truth’  the modes of thought and communication that deal with truth, if seen from a political perspective, are necessarily domineering; they don’t take into account other people’s opinions, and taking these into account is the hallmark of all strictly political thinking.’ Thus ever since Plato ridiculed the role of mere doxa,  a term used in connection with seeming, or unsubstantiated and contingent opinions, in political life, defenders of the truth have portrayed politics as the realm of expediency, compromise, hypocrisy, manipulation and mere appearances. to still the unruly turbulence of the public sphere and bring order into chaos and to quell the cacophony of discordant chatter .  Don't you know.
For when it enters the political realm truth ‘peremptorily claims to be acknowledged and precludes debate, and debate constitutes the very essence of political life. Arendt’s brief for lying as being akin to imagination, To put the matter somewhat differently, politics is not corrupted by rhetoric, image-making, surface appearances and public relations spin; rather, it is constituted by them. Its fragile and shifting consensuses are based on the arts of persuasion, not logical deduction or scientific demonstration.
So are these lawyer lying or are they just being 'political' with the truth. The truth is I don't know, and I am being honest about that.

Detente does not exist in the Russian dictionary

Unemployment is not a new form of exercise therapy.

The élites on the coasts, which Hillary Clinton adoringly refers to – all too rarely stay for endings,  i.e for this current facile conflagration between Democrats and Republicans, as Hillary blithely dismisses 
unemployment of white males in the fly over states, and kind of regards unemployment as a form
exercise therapy in this way she suborns (incites half of America) to vote against her.

Hail Mary's for the Mueller Inquisition

'Mueller may find the tipping point soon this is the Hail Mary that surpasses all Hail Mary's. The Mueller Inquisition, (soon to be adapted as a musical -just wait) could be likened to a pack of like minded salivating liberal hounds sniffing out truffles led by the 'eminent' truffle hunter, Mueller. 

Yet after 14 months and counting all these worthies have achieved is to have their snouts stuck in a cow pie.  Still, in time there is the Musical and who knows, the Opera.

A new course for Liberals 'Studies in Demoralisation’

It was sad to witness Hillary in India and then break her wrist and it would be not very cavalier if one did not wish her well, however judging by her animus-driven latest outburst a new Humanities course at those oh so Liberal ideological factories called academic institutions might be to offer a Course in a suitably titled, 'Studies in Demoralisation’. 

All that would be required of the students is a breathtaking literal-mindedness and an enthusiasm for limitless renunciation. It is a deformity in some, 'not all Liberals' (note how I covered myself) to imagine that, once they have found the lowest or meanest motive for an action or for a person, say Trump as a vile reprobate, they can amble through to the certainty that they have correctly identified the authentic person or  real situation. 

One could term this approach '...the lower we go the higher we understand,' thank you Michelle.  Think of it,  in 'Studies in Demoralisation’ all the students would have to do is draw conclusions by skimming from the top of arguments, not unlike the analysis of a poem on the basis of a one-sentence summary . The motto for the class would not be raison d'être (reason for being) raison d’état  (a purely political reason) While this is going on Hillary can return to her unstable Imperium made the more dynamically erratic by the flaw at its heart  - her pooch who refuses to stop straying from his porch

Mueller and his pack of truffle hunters

'Mueller may find the tipping point soon' this is the Hail Mary that surpasses all Hail Mary's. The Mueller Inquisition, (soon to be adapted as a musical -just wait) could be likened to a pack of like minded salivating liberal hounds sniffing out truffles led by the 'eminent' truffle hunter, Mueller. Yet after 14 months and counting all these worthies have achieved is to have their snouts stuck in a cow pie. Still, in time there is the Musical and who knows, the Opera.

Mill on listening to the opposing view

On Liberty Quotes

On LibertyOn Liberty by John Stuart Mill
22,881 ratings, 3.94 average rating, 628 reviews 
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On Liberty Quotes (showing 1-30 of 162)
“A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.”
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
“He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion... Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them...he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
“In this age, the mere example of non-conformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service. Precisely because the tyranny of opinion is such as to make eccentricity a reproach, it is desirable, in order to break through that tyranny, that people should be eccentric. Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage which it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time.”
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
“If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
“The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.”
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
“The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
“It still remains unrecognised, that to bring a child into existence without a fair prospect of being able, not only to provide food for its body, but instruction and training for its mind, is a moral crime, both against the unfortunate offspring and against society; and that if the parent does not fulfil this obligation, the State ought to see it fulfilled, at the charge, as far as possible, of the parent.”
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
“Christian morality (so called) has all the characters of a reaction; it is, in great part, a protest against Paganism. Its ideal is negative rather than positive; passive rather than action; innocence rather than Nobleness; Abstinence from Evil, rather than energetic Pursuit of Good: in its precepts (as has been well said) 'thou shalt not' predominates unduly over 'thou shalt.” 
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
“Even despotism does not produce its worst effects, so long as individuality exists under it; and whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called, and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.”
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
“The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him must be calculated to produce evil to someone else. The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
“It is not because men's desires are strong that they act ill; it is because their consciences are weak.”
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
“Every man who says frankly and fully what he thinks is so far doing a public service. We should be grateful to him for attacking most unsparingly our most cherished opinions.”
― John Stuart Mill
On Liberty
“The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.”
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
A state which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes--will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished.” 
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty coudl be talking about the EU
“the only way in which a human being can make some approach to knowing the whole of a subject, is by hearing what can be said about it by persons of every variety of opinion, and studying all modes in which it can be looked at by every character of mind. No wise man ever acquired his wisdom in any mode but this; nor is it in the nature of human intellect to become wise in any other manner.”
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
tags: wisdom
“Persons of genius, it is true, are, and are always likely to be, a small minority; but in order to have them, it is necessary to preserve the soil in which they grow.”
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
tags: genius
“Truth gains more even by the errors of one who, with due study and preparation, thinks for himself, than by the true opinions of those who only hold them because they do not suffer themselves to think…”
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
“A party of order or stability, and a party of progress or reform, are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life.” 
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
“The human faculties of perception, judgment, discriminative feeling, mental activity, and even moral preference, are exercised only in making a choice. He who does anything because it is the custom, makes no choice.” 
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
“No one can be a great thinker who does not recognize that as a thinker it is his first duty to follow his intellect to whatever conclusions it may lead.”
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
“Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.”
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
“Both teachers and learners go to sleep at their post as soon as there is no enemy in the field.”  (Witness US schoool who will brook no dissent or opposing views)
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty
“A person whose desires and impulses are his own—are the expression of his own nature, as it has been developed and modified by his own culture—is said to have a character. One whose desires and impulses are not his own, has no character, no more than a steam-engine has character…”  (Think Hillary Clintom as verbal steam engine)
― John Stuart MillOn Liberty

"If Fascism ever comes to America, it will come In the name of Liberalism".

"If Fascism ever comes to America, it will come In the name of Liberalism". Ronald Reagan - on the 60 Minutes TV show with Mike Wallace in 1975.

That strange relationship between the English and the Americans

The relationship between any two major nations, say the UK and the US  is inevitably about war, trade, investment and communications, not to acknowledge such points robs the discussion off its sinew.

I am being solemn but is solemnity really such a risk

Let us go to the  the American cult of Churchill, who stands for a sort of disembodied ‘greatness’ as a high-cast, good-taste Rambo with rhetorical abilities. You never find an Englishman among the underdogs – except in England of course

However the English has been a beneficiary of the American assumption that an Englishman is, at least potentially and embryonically, a superior sort of American.

 An Englishman is seen not just as a Wasp, but as quite probably someone with better education, taste and manners than your run-of-the-mill log rolling Americans.  

Yet nothing has so reinforced American Anglophilia as the fact that we are now so far from being the imperial rival we once were that Americans have no need for envy on that front.  So America you can go back to feeling superior.

Clinton's dangerous thoughts from her bullet proof limousine

Clinton's treacly exaggerations’ at her blushworthy book signing has been symptomatic of far too willing to sign almost anything put in front of her.

Perhaps before opining about 'those' people not from the Coasts, she might read something with the richness and complexity of a mind and sympathy which stretches to comprehend both the revolution and its opposite, just as Shakespeare did in Coriolanus

As the caravan of 'intellectuals, media types and academics who hyped her up to such a degree that it is hard  now as they circle their wagons for them to explain that she just night have been a cheat a faux feminist who covered for a tireless philanderer. 

None the less they will still stand by her  in her furious turn at the coconut shy as she continues  lobbing adjectives like grenades  at Trump from the safety of her bullet-proof limousine  (sorry for the mixed metaphors)

The nightmare side of the American dream

A reply from your blogger to an article in the NYT

I thought this a thoughtful and 'sympa' (as they say in France) article.
Although on this side of the pond I don't recognise the heart wringing among liberal elite that your writer seems to think prevails in the US. Over here they appear to be a self serving class who do not take kindly to criticism...on your side of the Atlantic, they rather appear to flirt with incitement (judging by the content in the New York Times) that appears to be just this side of restraint when it comes to surgical strikes’ against Idaho and Montana or wherever those pesky back scratching, log rolling folks live. Judging by the vitriol heaped on Trump in the comments section of your paper your 'elites' do not appear to be in deep contemplation before they take to the sword in a verbal slash and burn of the enemy, Trump. What of that elite dynasty the Clintons', Bill, God bless him, has been a hard dog to keep on the porch, which puts the Stormy Daniels saga in perspective. Post-Modern politics has duped us into the concept of the ‘lesser evil’. One must, in other words, always be ready to accept the elites like Clinton, whose heart wringing or any largesse seem to be only extended to those singing to their elite hymn book as opposed to that other side of the tracks army of deplorables who marshal themselves alongside your President, Donald Trump.the nightmare side of the American dream