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How can we handle issues and make big decisions (such as on ID, response to pandemics, ethics & epistemology etc) in a deeply polarised age?

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Seminal Christian thinker, Francis Schaeffer, often said that “ideas have consequences.” The issue of course, is that good/bad ideas have similarly good/bad consequences. So, we face a familiar dilemma, especially when a culture or community or civilisation is on a dangerous path:

This helps us to focus the issue: we are looking at alternatives in a community where balances of power tend to lock in business as usual and tend to marginalise alternatives. So, we will have to look at power structures, polarisation and prudence in decision-making at policy level. Which, as a fairly simple framework, raises the concept of seven “commanding heights” mountains/pillars of influence that uphold and in turn are protected by a dominant worldview and cultural agenda:

At once, it is obvious that an entrenched policy and its associated dominant worldview will be very hard to change. That’s why it was said of new paradigms in science, that they progress one funeral at a time.

(All of this will be very familiar to design thinkers, who have experienced what cultural lockout and creation of a scientific counter-culture under siege looks like. Even, when it is blatant that we live in a cosmos with physics fine tuned in ways that set the stage for C-chemistry, aqueous medium, cell based life. Even, when it has been further obvious since 1953 that in the heart of such life we find alphanumeric, coded, complex algorithmic information in string data structures, working with molecular nanotech to build the workhorse molecules of life. Even, when we go on to discover inter-woven, overlapping code; a known high point of design. Even, when it is utterly implausible that such codes and associated execution machinery could come about by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity. Even, when — thanks to Venter et al — we know that nanotech design is feasible and we know the routine source of coded, complex algorithmic information and execution machinery.)

Here is an example of such overlapping code:

A first answer lies in the concepts, the Overton window and the BATNA negotiation power balance challenge:

A further key clue is to understand how Frankfurt School Culture-form Marxist thought — through so-called Critical Theory Studies — has come to dominate large swathes of the Academy. This has led to Gramsci’s “long march through the institutions” . . . as we mapped above, and thus also a strong pulling of the Overton window to the “Left.”

Wikipedia, inadvertently testifying against known ideological interest, helps us understand Critical Theory and its roots:

In sociology and political philosophy, the term Critical Theory describes the Western-Marxist philosophy of the Frankfurt School, which was developed in Germany in the 1930s and draws on the ideas of Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. Though a “critical theory” or a “critical social theory” may have similar elements of thought, the capitalization of Critical Theory as if it were a proper noun particularly stresses the intellectual lineage specific to the Frankfurt School.[citation needed]

Modern critical theory has additionally been influenced by György Lukács and Antonio Gramsci, as well as second-generation Frankfurt School scholars, notably Jürgen Habermas. In Habermas’ work, critical theory transcended its theoretical roots in German idealism and progressed closer to American pragmatism. Concern for social “base and superstructure” is one of the remaining Marxist philosophical concepts in much of contemporary critical theory.[3]:5-8

Postmodern critical theory analyzes the fragmentation of cultural identities in order to challenge modernist-era constructs such as metanarratives, rationality, and universal truths, while politicizing social problems “by situating them in historical and cultural contexts, to implicate themselves in the process of collecting and analyzing data, and to relativize their findings.”[4]

Notice, the post-/ultra- modern radical relativism, undermining of truth, intent of subversion and delegitimisation of what they differ with (shifting the Overton Window through “mainstreaming), thus reducing policy and issues to nihilistic power struggles to be decided — ironically — by their metanarrative:

Postmodern critical theory analyzes the fragmentation of cultural identities in order to challenge modernist-era constructs such as metanarratives, rationality, and universal truths, while politicizing social problems “by situating them in historical and cultural contexts, to implicate themselves in the process of collecting and analyzing data, and to relativize their findings.”

If there are no truths, simpliciter, then, on what foundations can such a radically relativist analysis rest? If there is no self-evident framework of rationality, then why should we trust such an alleged analysis? If all is relativised, does not that include such “critical theories” and their claimed power to liberate? Speaking of, is it really sound to seek to liberate from truth, logic, established and even self evident first principles? Similarly, what happens when the agenda wraps itself up in a Scientific or medical lab coat?

Does that then make sudden, shocking sense of the tendency to accuse of a war against science and its alleged consensus? Especially, as we have seen as the current pandemic has unfolded? In particular, in reaction to the evidence that Hydroxychloroquine-based cocktails, if administered early enough, can be an effective treatment? Does that not uncomfortably echo the Climate Change debates and those over the design inference?

That leads the linked question of Left/Right politics in general.

To which, it is clear that the more or less socialist left has become a pole of politics ever since the French Revolution and anything that does not fit in with the current partyline or agenda items is deemed “right.” Since the rise of Nazism, there has been a tendency to smear the “right” as crypto-nazi or crypto-fascist. Including, perhaps especially, “Fundamentalist” Christians. In fact, however, Nazism and fascism were ideologies of the left (just, they were right of Stalin): National Socialist German Workers’ Party . . . what “Nazi” abbreviates . . . gives a clue or two.

Similarly, in the days of his Red Guards mob led coup and linked devastating Cultural Revolution of 1966 – 76, Mao viewed his fellow communists who were less radical than he as “rightists.”

We need to move away from the increasingly irrelevant and simplistic Left/Right models, where the left is the polar “centre” and whatever does not fit is marginalised and stigmatised as “the [crypto-Nazi] right.” I have suggested:

Let me add some background to the alternative:

U/d b for clarity, nb Nil

Note, too, a classical tabulation on forms of regimes, IIRC, tracing to Aristotle:

David Horowitz has suggested an analysis of American politics that is worth pondering as 4th Generation Civil War begins to engulf the USA, with obvious Red Guards — and their shadowy backers — rampaging through the culture, almost at will:

In contrast to Europe, where conflicts pitted socialists against conservatives and often erupted in revolution and civil war, American politics [in the aftermath of the Civil War and Reconstruction] involved little or no social upheaval. Whatever divided Americans was not fundamental; elections were about nuts­-and-bolts issues, not about the foundations of the republic itself.

Critics complained that the two parties were no more different than Tweedledum and Tweedledee and offered voters “an echo, not a choice.” But there was also a bright side to this political convergence: it reflected the common values and shared understandings of the American social contract. Elections may have lacked ideological drama, but the payoff was political stability and the sense of a common national purpose, which seemed well worth the price.

All this changed in the 1960s with the emergence of an ideological left in the heart of America’s political culture. This countercultural movement was socialist in content and radical in its approach. Its leaders styled themselves revolutionaries, turned their backs on democratic elections, and took their causes “to the streets.” They rejected the political parties, calling them pawns of a “corporate ruling class.”

Democracy, they groused, was a “sham.” But the revolutionary idea proved elusive in democratic America, and in 1972 the radicals of the 1960s abandoned the battle of the streets to join the presidential campaign of antiwar candidate George McGovern. In the after­math of Watergate and the Nixon impeachment, they assumed a new role as the activist core of the Democratic Party.

As a result of these developments, today the Democratic Party draws its strength fr om the ideological left, a constituency composed of government unions, whose agenda is the expansion of govern-mental power, and organizations that grew out of the crusades of the 1960s and are driven by racial grievances, environmental radicalism, and campaigns for reproductive and welfare rights.

Philosophically, the Democratic Party is now almost indistinguishable from the traditional left- wing parties of Europe that make up the “Second Socialist International.” [From, The Art of Political War, 2000.]

This picture, whatever its flaws in detail (and without endorsing Mr Horowitz across the board), seems a fair enough, rough summary of the roots and substance of the polarisation that is now spiralling down ever deeper into 4th Generation Civil War, complete with Red Guards. It came from the left, especially the Culture-form Marxist Left, with linked Po-mo influences. Similarly, given the dominance of US media and other cultural influences, this pattern is spreading globally. The radicals know that, that’s why the US is their chosen Archimedean point.

That is context, how can we respond to restore reason, prudence and soundness?

At this point, by counter-culture strategy that consciously takes a pivotal decision to put the first duties of reason — recognised as core, built-in law of our morally governed nature — to the centre of our thinking. Specifically:

We can readily identify at least seven inescapable first duties of reason. Inescapable, as they are so antecedent to reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to them; i.e. they are self-evident. Duties, to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to neighbour, so also to fairness and justice etc. Such built in law is not invented by parliaments or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature. Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right. Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law.

Of course, such self-evidence by way of inescapability echoed in the promptings of sound conscience does not directly tell us where such come from, only that they are so established and central that they govern our whole rationality. Yes, reasoning itself is pervasively morally governed. Governed, by intelligible law, law that is built-in and attested by sound conscience.

That tellingly echoes a familiar source that is of course a major target for marginalisation. Such, by way of trying to taint and discredit the principal author, Jefferson (and thus to suppress Blackstone, Locke, Rutherford, the Dutch Declarants of 1581 and Duplessis-Mornay behind him without ever having actually addressed the substantial case). Yes, the US Declaration of Independence, 1776:

When . . . it becomes necessary for one people . . . to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, [cf Rom 1:18 – 21, 2:14 – 15], 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, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . .

We find ourselves bound by built-in law, the law of our responsibly, rationally free, morally governed nature. Such law, credibly, traces to our source. Where, obviously — as non-being can have no causal powers — were there ever utter nothingness such would forever obtain. Likewise, circular retro causality where a not yet future reaches back to cause its own origin is just as absurd. Also, to traverse an infinite succession of finite stages [“years” for convenience] to reach here is an infeasible supertask, so an infinite causal-temporal past is also implausible.

So, we freely conclude, if a world now is, something always was, something capable of causing a world with responsible, rational, free (so, morally governed) creatures such as we are.

After centuries of debates on roots of moral government, we have just one serious candidate: the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being. One, worthy of our loyalty and of the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature.

That is the true root issue: ever so many today are committed to rejecting such a creator God that they will cling to the most patent of absurdities. This is a big problem.

We need to champion reason, soundness and prudence, recognising that we must stand and take blows and defeats now, if we are to be the good people in the storm if and when things go over the cliff. A grim task, but a necessary one.

Where, we must not shun to point out the absurdity of our civilisation’s current path. Even in the teeth of Red Guards and their mobbing tactics backed by nihilistic power brokers.

In my estimation, the next six to eighteen months will be crucial for our civilisation, if it is to avert needless catastrophe that will likely drastically curtail liberty under just law and government with the informed consent of the governed. Fourth Generation Warfare is often so subtle that it does not seem to be what it is, war. END

38 Replies to “How can we handle issues and make big decisions (such as on ID, response to pandemics, ethics & epistemology etc) in a deeply polarised age?

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    How can we handle issues and make big decisions (such as on ID, response to pandemics, ethics & epistemology etc) in a deeply polarised age?

    –> the next 6 – 18 months are, credibly, a civilisation-level kairos, and on business as usual, we are headed over a cliff

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let’s continue with Horowitz, here, on rights:

    At the most basic level, [many, I add . . . ] Democrats now view “rights”-the key concept of democratic politics [–> as in, justice is the due balance of rights, freedoms & responsibilities]-through the same lens as the traditional left , as social entitlements that can be created by government. This is not the view of rights held by the American Founders, but the classic socialist view. It can be traced to the French, but not the American, Revolution. It is a view both parties previously understood to be at odds with the idea of liberty enshrined in the Constitution of the American Republic.

    This is crucial, as it redefines rights into a negotiated power settlement. Hence, the powerless — witness the ghosts of 800+ million of our living posterity in the womb, globally over 40+ years — have no effective rights. They exist at sufferance of the powerful.

    If that does not outright shock and frighten you, it should.

    This is nihilism, however disguised.

    It is clear that the worldviews level issue is moral government and its roots, so roots of duty, rights and liberty thus justice. It is absurd for those to be deemed in effect a balance of power.

    That is why it is so crucial that we learn afresh to recognise first duties of reason, built-in law (the law of our morally governed nature) and who built it in, God.

    Absent a recognition of these, the spiralling 4th gen war in the US and its extensions across our civilisation will spiral out of any control into a 1990’s style Yugoslav — South Slav — federation breakup civil war.

    Those are the matches that the Red Guards and their backers are recklessly, ruthlessly, foolishly playing with.


    PS: While I am at it, life is the first right; without it there are no further rights. So, instead of agit prop slogans tracing to falsified narratives of confrontations with the police in Ferguson, we need to return to the 2nd paragraph of the US DoI, 1776. This did not create rights, but acknowledged them as the charter of nationhood born out of secession in the teeth of a long train of abuses and usurpations. Where, further, “defund” [= abolish] the police is anticivilisational folly that implies handing over policing powers to the mob and to ideological secret police. No Prizes for guessing what Geheime Staatspolizeii . . . more or less . . . is abbreviated as. Those who refuse to learn from history doom themselves to repeat its worst chapters.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N2: A bit more:

    This [formerly in-]common understanding of the Constitution as setting limits to what government may do[–> given its remit to guard God-given, built-in, “unalienable” rights] has now broken down. (This is the second such national breakdown, the first having led to the Civil War.) This breakdown is usually referred to as a “culture war” and is the direct consequence of the entry of the left into the American mainstream. Leftists view the Constitution as a “living” document, and hence a malleable instrument of their “progressive” policies and socialist schemes the Founders would have found anathema. As a result of the influence of these views, the manufacture of rights has become a cottage industry . . .

    The predictable result is to turn civil society into a deeply polarised contest to control levers that aggrandise fresh entitlements under colour of law crowned with the claim that they are “rights.” The predictable result is to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Further to this as a right, properly is a binding moral claim to be respected, upheld and protected in certain ways tracing to the inherent worth of the human person, we cannot legitimately compel another to do the wrong or to uphold us in the wrong. No one can be compelled to taint conscience and soul to enable us. So, no right claim can be valid absent its manifestly being in the right.


  4. 4
    rhampton7 says:

    SNIP — insistent threadjacking after the warning in 6; content transferred here:

  5. 5
    rhampton7 says:


  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    RH7, this is not a thread about HCQ debates, please do not use it for further one sided newsclips. KF

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    jerry says:


    You as an author should have the ability to remove comments. You could then post them on another thread so they do not get lost.

  8. 8
    rhampton7 says:


  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    RH7, the effect was distractive especially as there is a clear balance of evidence of significant effectiveness. So, you are actually admitting to trying to dismiss a correct point with misleading unbalanced critiques. Given the sobering cost of our failures to address associated ethics, epistemology and decision theory, lives needlessly lost, I suggest you will be well advised to reconsider what you have done. This thread in the main is about a much bigger challenge, the ongoing down-spiral of our civilisation’s politics into the abyss, and the considerations that even at this late stage might help us recover before it is too late. KF

  10. 10
    rhampton7 says:


  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:


    you seem to be insistent on threadjacking.

    And that is driven by obsession with overturning actually solid cumulative evidence that HCQ+ cocktails work as effective treatments for CV19.

    This threadjacking on a pivotal thread in the teeth of warnings to the contrary calls for strong action. This rides on top of by now dozens upon dozens of spamming posts by you across many threads that try to do the same, constituting enabling behaviour for suppressing evidence that shows what you refuse to believe. Namely, that there is good reason to accept that HCQ+ cocktails are effective treatments of CV19.

    The needless controversy on this matter has likely cost too many their lives, through frustrating access to timely, cost effective treatment and painting a false picture of failure. In addition, ethical-epistemological failures have been entrenched through the gold standard fallacy that it is acceptable to deliberately give patients falsely labelled ineffective treatments in the face of a rapidly acting significantly fatal disease, in the teeth of clear evidence that observation of differences between business as usual treatment and reasonably credible alternatives not pivoting on mistreatment are good enough to guide sound decision.

    All of which seem to be part of the polarisation of our civilisation.

    Accordingly, I will now strip the comments above and transfer them to another thread, where those who are interested in such futile onward debates may pursue them to their hearts’ content.


  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, I gave RH7 an opportunity to do better. This was ignored. I have snipped and transferred. Beyond this point, even though it forces me to put a strain on discussion here — doubtless an intent of thread jacking behaviour — I will take more drastic action. KF

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It is worth the while to clip SEP on critical theory approaches; preparatory to addressing how history education is being distorted to taint a breakthrough in self-government, starting in 1776:

    Critical Theory
    First published Tue Mar 8, 2005

    Critical Theory has a narrow and a broad meaning in philosophy and in the history of the social sciences. “Critical Theory” in the narrow sense designates several generations of German philosophers and social theorists in the Western European Marxist tradition known as the Frankfurt School. According to these theorists, a “critical” theory may be distinguished from a “traditional” theory according to a specific practical purpose: a theory is critical to the extent that it seeks human “emancipation from slavery”, acts as a “liberating … influence”, and works “to create a world which satisfies the needs and powers” of human beings (Horkheimer 1972, 246). Because such theories aim to explain and transform all the circumstances that enslave human beings, many “critical theories” in the broader sense have been developed. They have emerged in connection with the many social movements that identify varied dimensions of the domination of human beings in modern societies. In both the broad and the narrow senses, however, a critical theory provides the descriptive and normative bases for social inquiry aimed at decreasing domination and increasing freedom in all their forms.

    Critical Theory in the narrow sense has had many different aspects and quite distinct historical phases that cross several generations, from the effective start of the Institute for Social Research in the years 1929–1930, which saw the arrival of the Frankfurt School philosophers and an inaugural lecture by Horkheimer, to the present. Its distinctiveness as a philosophical approach that extends to ethics, political philosophy, and the philosophy of history is most apparent when considered in light of the history of the philosophy of the social sciences. Critical Theorists have long sought to distinguish their aims, methods, theories, and forms of explanation from standard understandings in both the natural and the social sciences. Instead, they have claimed that social inquiry ought to combine rather than separate the poles of philosophy and the social sciences: explanation and understanding, structure and agency, regularity and normativity. Such an approach, Critical Theorists argue, permits their enterprise to be practical in a distinctively moral (rather than instrumental) sense. They do not merely seek to provide the means to achieve some independent goal, but rather (as in Horkheimer’s famous definition mentioned above) seek “human emancipation” in circumstances of domination and oppression. This normative task cannot be accomplished apart from the interplay between philosophy and social science through interdisciplinary empirical social research (Horkheimer 1993). While Critical Theory is often thought of narrowly as referring to the Frankfurt School that begins with Horkheimer and Adorno and stretches to Marcuse and Habermas, any philosophical approach with similar practical aims could be called a “critical theory,” including feminism, critical race theory, and some forms of post-colonial criticism. In the following, Critical Theory when capitalized refers only to the Frankfurt School. All other uses of the term are meant in the broader sense and thus not capitalized. When used in the singular, “a critical theory” is not capitalized, even when the theory is developed by members of the Frankfurt School in the context of their overall project of Critical Theory.

    It follows from Horkheimer’s definition that a critical theory is adequate only if it meets three criteria: it must be explanatory, practical, and normative, all at the same time. That is, it must explain what is wrong with current social reality, identify the actors to change it, and provide both clear norms for criticism and achievable practical goals for social transformation. Any truly critical theory of society, as Horkheimer further defined it in his writings as Director of the Frankfurt School’s Institute for Social Research, “has as its object human beings as producers of their own historical form of life” (Horkeimer 1993, 21). In light of the practical goal of identifying and overcoming all the circumstances that limit human freedom, the explanatory goal could be furthered only through interdisciplinary research that includes psychological, cultural, and social dimensions, as well as institutional forms of domination. Given the emphasis among the first generation of Critical Theory on human beings as the self-creating producers of their own history, a unique practical aim of social inquiry suggests itself: to transform contemporary capitalism into a consensual form of social life. For Horkheimer a capitalist society could be transformed only by becoming more democratic, to make it such that “all conditions of social life that are controllable by human beings depend on real consensus” in a rational society (Horkheimer 1972, 249–250). The normative orientation of Critical Theory, at least in its form of critical social inquiry, is therefore towards the transformation of capitalism into a “real democracy” in which such control could be exercised (Horkheimer 1972, 250). In such formulations, there are striking similarities between Critical Theory and American pragmatism.

    The focus on democracy as the location for cooperative, practical and transformative activity continues today in the work of Jürgen Habermas, as does the attempt to determine the nature and limits of “real democracy” in complex, pluralistic, and globalizing societies.

    As might be expected from such an ambitious philosophical project and form of inquiry, Critical Theory is rife with tensions . . .

    Of course, anyone familiar with the promises of radical revolutions since 1789 and their consistent result in reigns of terror, economic dislocation, aggressive war, mass murder, perversion of justice and policing systems, as well as general tumbling into tyrannies by autocrats and/or oligarchies will take the suggestions of opening up an ever brighter future with a grain of salt.


  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, while I am at it, let me note from Plato’s Socrates, a classic warning on the dangers of democratic experiments informed by the failure of Athens. This is pivotal, as the key insight is that the American experiment the radicals now wish to taint and discrtedit provided the practical answer to this pivotal challenge of utter instability:

    It is not too hard to figure out that our civilisation is in deep trouble and is most likely headed for shipwreck. (And of course, that sort of concern is dismissed as “apocalyptic,” or neurotic pessimism that refuses to pause and smell the roses.)

    Plato’s Socrates spoke to this sort of situation, long since, in the ship of state parable in The Republic, Bk VI:

    >>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures.

    Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain [–> often interpreted, ship’s owner] who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. [= The people own the community and in the mass are overwhelmingly strong, but are ill equipped on the whole to guide, guard and lead it]

    The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering – every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer [= selfish ambition to rule and dominate], though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them [–> kubernetes, steersman, from which both cybernetics and government come in English]; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard [ = ruthless contest for domination of the community], and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug [ = manipulation and befuddlement, cf. the parable of the cave], they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them [–> Cf here Luke’s subtle case study in Ac 27].

    Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling.

    Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    [Ad.] Of course, said Adeimantus.

    [Soc.] Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State [ –> here we see Plato’s philosoppher-king emerging]; for you understand already.

    [Ad.] Certainly.

    [Soc.] Then suppose you now take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honour in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honour would be far more extraordinary.

    [Ad.] I will.

    [Soc.] Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him –that is not the order of nature; neither are ‘the wise to go to the doors of the rich’ –the ingenious author of this saying told a lie –but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. [–> the issue of competence and character as qualifications to rule] The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him [ –> down this road lies the modern solution: a sound, well informed people will seek sound leaders, who will not need to manipulate or bribe or worse, and such a ruler will in turn be checked by the soundness of the people, cf. US DoI, 1776]; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them good-for-nothings and star-gazers.

    [Ad.] Precisely so, he said.

    [Soc] For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction [–> the sophists, the Demagogues, Alcibiades and co, etc]; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say, that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed [–> even among the students of the sound state (here, political philosophy and likely history etc.), many are of unsound motivation and intent, so mere education is not enough, character transformation is critical].

    [Ad.] Yes.

    [Soc.] And the reason why the good are useless has now been explained?

    [Ad.] True.

    [Soc.] Then shall we proceed to show that the corruption of the majority is also unavoidable [–> implies a need for a corruption-restraining minority providing proverbial salt and light, cf. Ac 27, as well as justifying a governing structure turning on separation of powers, checks and balances], and that this is not to be laid to the charge of philosophy any more than the other?

    [Ad.] By all means.

    [Soc.] And let us ask and answer in turn, first going back to the description of the gentle and noble nature.[ — > note the character issue] Truth, as you will remember, was his leader, whom he followed always and in all things [ –> The spirit of truth as a marker]; failing in this, he was an impostor, and had no part or lot in true philosophy [–> the spirit of truth is a marker, for good or ill] . . . >>

    (There is more than an echo of this in Acts 27, a real world case study. [Luke, a physician, was an educated Greek with a taste for subtle references.] This blog post, on soundness in policy, will also help)

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Cicero on Natural Law gives key background:

    —Marcus [in de Legibus, introductory remarks,. C1 BC, being Cicero himself]: . . . the subject of our present discussion . . . comprehends the universal principles of equity and law. In such a discussion therefore on the great moral law of nature, the practice of the civil law can occupy but an insignificant and subordinate station. For according to our idea, we shall have to explain the true nature of moral justice, which is congenial and correspondent [36]with the true nature of man.

    [–> Note, how justice and our built in nature as a morally governed class of creatures are highlighted; thus framing the natural law frame: recognising built-in law that we do not create nor can we repeal, which then frames a sound understanding of justice. Without such an anchor, law inevitably reduces to the sort of ruthless, nihilistic might- and- manipulation- make- “right,”- “truth,”- “knowledge,”- “law”- and- “justice”- etc power struggle and chaos Plato warned against in The Laws Bk X.]

    We shall have to examine those principles of legislation by which all political states should be governed. And last of all, shall we have to speak of those laws and customs which are framed for the use and convenience of particular peoples, which regulate the civic and municipal affairs of the citizens, and which are known by the title of civil laws.

    Quintus [his real-life brother]. —You take a noble view of the subject, my brother, and go to the fountain–head of moral truth, in order to throw light on the whole science of jurisprudence: while those who confine their legal studies to the civil law too often grow less familiar with the arts of justice than with those of litigation.

    Marcus. —Your observation, my Quintus, is not quite correct. It is not so much the science of law that produces litigation, as the ignorance of it, (potius ignoratio juris litigiosa est quam scientia) . . . . With respect to the true principle of justice, many learned men have maintained that it springs from Law. I hardly know if their opinion be not correct, at least, according to their own definition; for “Law (say they) is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary.” This, they think, is apparent from the converse of the proposition; because this same reason, when it [37]is confirmed and established in men’s minds, is the law of all their actions.

    They therefore conceive that the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law, whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones. They think, too, that the Greek name for law (NOMOS), which is derived from NEMO, to distribute, implies the very nature of the thing, that is, to give every man his due. [–> this implies a definition of justice as the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities] For my part, I imagine that the moral essence of law is better expressed by its Latin name, (lex), which conveys the idea of selection or discrimination. According to the Greeks, therefore, the name of law implies an equitable distribution of goods: according to the Romans, an equitable discrimination between good and evil.

    The true definition of law should, however, include both these characteristics. And this being granted as an almost self–evident proposition, the origin of justice is to be sought in the divine law of eternal and immutable morality. This indeed is the true energy of nature, the very soul and essence of wisdom, the test of virtue and vice.

    This is of course a key part of what I built on:

    We can readily identify at least seven inescapable first duties of reason. Inescapable, as they are so antecedent to reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to them; i.e. they are self-evident. Duties, to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to neighbour, so also to fairness and justice etc. Such built in law is not invented by parliaments or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature. Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right. Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law.


  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS: Blackstone is further — and fairly direct — background for the US DoI, 1776:

    Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-1769)
    Sir William Blackstone

    Of the Nature of Laws in General

    . . . [L]aws, in their more confined sense, and in which it is our present business to consider them, denote the rules, not of action in general, but of human action or conduct: that is, the precepts by which man, the noblest of all sublunary beings, a creature endowed with both reason and freewill, is commanded to make use of those faculties in the general regulation of his behavior.

    Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his creator, for he is entirely a dependent being [–> we are contingent creatures under a Creator who as Maximally Great, necessary being, has aseity]. A being, independent of any other, has no rule to pursue, but such as he prescribes to himself [–> notice, aseity, and the implied folly of a contingent creature presuming that responsible rational freedom gives him utter, arbitrary autonomy of action]; but a state of dependence will inevitably oblige the inferior to take the will of him, on whom he depends, as the rule of his conduct: not indeed in every particular, but in all those points wherein his dependence consists. This principle therefore has more or less extent and effect, in proportion as the superiority of the one and the dependence of the other is greater or less, absolute or limited. And consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his maker for every thing, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his maker’s will.

    [–> hence, the significance of seeing from our inescapably being under moral government, that we operate on both sides of the IS-OUGHT gap. So, it must be bridged, which is only feasible in the root of reality, on pain of Hume’s ungrounded ought: reasoning is-is then poof, ought from nowhere. Coherence demands fusion, only feasible in the world-root source. This requires a necessary being root of reality adequate to support ought. After centuries of vexed debate, there remains just one serious candidate: the inherently good (and so, utterly wise and soundly acting) creator God, a necessary and maximally great being. Thus, one who is framework to any world existing, indeed, its source. Further, one who is worthy of loyalty and of the responsible, reasonable service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature.

    This will of his maker is called the law of nature. For as God, when he created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and endued him with freewill to conduct himself in all parts of life, he laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that freewill is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws.

    Considering the creator only as a being of infinite power, he was able unquestionably to have prescribed whatever laws he pleased to his creature, man, however unjust or severe. [–> Blackstone, here, errs somewhat in this suggestion, as he does not adequately consider God’s goodness and the moral coherence of his character: God as inherently good will do no evil]

    But as be is also a being of infinite wisdom [–> notice, utterly wise so also inherently good], he has laid down only such laws as were founded in those relations of justice, that existed in the nature of things antecedent to any positive precept. These are the eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the creator himself in all his dispensations conforms; and which he has enabled human reason to discover, so far as they are necessary for the conduct of human actions. Such among others are these principles: that we should live honestly, should hurt nobody, and should render to every one his due; to which three general precepts Justinian1 has reduced the whole doctrine of law. [–> In introductory remarks in the built-in textbook, Institutes, for Corpus Juris Civilis, which in turn echoes Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics, and of course Paul, Jesus and Moses on the law of neighbour love.]

    But if the discovery of these first principles of the law of nature depended only upon the due exertion of right reason [–> notice, the implicit duty to reason aright starting with its first principles], and could not otherwise be obtained than by a chain of metaphysical disquisitions, mankind would have wanted some inducement to have quickened their inquiries, and the greater part of the world would have rested content in mental indolence, and ignorance its inseparable companion. As therefore the creator is a being, not only of infinite power, and wisdom, but also of infinite goodness [–> he now draws this out], he has been pleased so to contrive the constitution and frame of humanity, that we should want no other prompter to inquire after and pursue the rule of right, but only our own self-love, that universal principle of action.[–> which is the implicit premise in love neighbour as self] For he has so intimately connected, so inseparably interwoven the laws of eternal justice with the happiness of each individual, that the latter cannot be attained but by observing the former; and, if the former be punctually obeyed, it cannot but induce the latter. In consequence of which mutual connection of justice and human felicity, he has not perplexed the law of nature with a multitude of abstracted rules and precepts, referring merely to the fitness or unfitness of things, as some have vainly surmised; but has graciously reduced the rule of obedience to this one paternal precept, “that man should pursue his own true and substantial happiness.”

    [–> which by definition cannot but be in a community of like creatures, leading to mutual obligations of neighbour-love; note the direct echo in the US DOI, July 4, 1776. However, the lack of balance is a key weak point. By way of rebalancing, for instance, justice is best understood as the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities in the community of the morally governed. Which, in turn, is credibly rooted in the inherently good, utterly wise Creator..]

    This is the foundation of what we call ethics, or natural law. For the several articles into which it is branched in our systems, amount to no more than demonstrating, that this or that action tends to man’s real happiness, and therefore very justly concluding that the performance of it is a part of the law of nature; or, on the other hand, that this or that action is destructive of man’s real happiness, and therefore that the law of nature forbids it.

    This law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other-It is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times; no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this: and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.

    But in order to apply this to the particular exigencies of each individual, it is still necessary to have recourse to reason; whose office it is to discover, as was before observed, what the law of nature directs in every circumstance of life: by considering, what method will tend the most effectually to our own substantial happiness.

    F/N: I now add to the OP, a background framework on dynamics of Government that point to a very different spectrum as I already showed as an alternative to the increasingly counter-productive left-right spectrum.

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Today, I remember Havel’s essay, Power of the Powerless, and especially the plight of the greengrocer:

    The manager of a fruit-and-vegetable shop places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: “Workers of the world, unite!” Why does he do it? What is he trying to communicate to the world? Is he genuinely enthusiastic about the idea of unity among the workers of the world? Is his enthusiasm so great that he feels an irrepressible impulse to acquaint the public with his ideals? Has he really given more than a moment’s thought to how such a unification might occur and what it would mean?

    I think it can safely be assumed that the overwhelming majority of shopkeepers never think about the slogans they put in their windows, nor do they use them to express their real opinions. That poster was delivered to our greengrocer from the enterprise headquarters along with the onions and carrots. He put them all into the window simply because it has been done that way for years, because everyone does it, and because that is the way it has to be. If he were to refuse, there could be trouble. He could be reproached for not having the proper decoration in his window; someone might even accuse him of disloyalty. He does it because these things must be done if one is to get along in life. It is one of the thousands of details that guarantee him a relatively tranquil life “in harmony with society,” as they say.

    Obviously the greengrocer is indifferent to the semantic content of the slogan on exhibit; he does not put the slogan in his window from any personal desire to acquaint the public with the ideal it expresses. This, of course, does not mean that his action has no motive or significance at all, or that the slogan communicates nothing to anyone. The slogan is really a sign, and as such it contains a subliminal but very definite message. Verbally, it might be expressed this way: “I, the greengrocer XY, live here and I know what I must do. I behave in the manner expected of me. I can be depended upon and am beyond reproach. I am obedient and therefore I have the right to be left in peace.” This message, of course, has an addressee: it is directed above, to the greengrocer’s superior, and at the same time it is a shield that protects the greengrocer from potential informers. The slogan’s real meaning, therefore, is rooted firmly in the greengrocer’s existence. It reflects his vital interests. But what are those vital interests?

    Let us take note: if the greengrocer had been instructed to display the slogan “I am afraid and therefore unquestioningly obedient;” he would not be nearly as indifferent to its semantics, even though the statement would reflect the truth. The greengrocer would be embarrassed and ashamed to put such an unequivocal statement of his own degradation in the shop window, and quite naturally so, for he is a human being and thus has a sense of his own dignity. To overcome this complication, his expression of loyalty must take the form of a sign which, at least on its textual surface, indicates a level of disinterested conviction. It must allow the greengrocer to say, “What’s wrong with the workers of the world uniting?” Thus the sign helps the greengrocer to conceal from himself the low foundations of his obedience, at the same time concealing the low foundations of power. It hides them behind the facade of something high. And that something is ideology.

    Ideology is a specious way of relating to the world. It offers human beings the illusion of an identity, of dignity, and of morality while making it easier for them to part with them. As the repository of something suprapersonal and objective, it enables people to deceive their conscience and conceal their true position and their inglorious modus vivendi, both from the world and from themselves. It is a very pragmatic but, at the same time, an apparently dignified way of legitimizing what is above, below, and on either side. It is directed toward people and toward God. It is a veil behind which human beings can hide their own fallen existence, their trivialization, and their adaptation to the status quo. It is an excuse that everyone can use, from the greengrocer, who conceals his fear of losing his job behind an alleged interest in the unification of the workers of the world, to the highest functionary, whose interest in staying in power can be cloaked in phrases about service to the working class. The primary excusatory function of ideology, therefore, is to provide people, both as victims and pillars of the post-totalitarian system, with the illusion that the system is in harmony with the human order and the order of the universe . . .

    These words and the wider essay are particularly relevant in a day when Red Guards again mob our streets and seek to force their agendas by intimidation and mob rule.

    Where, as we are a symbol-using, symbol shaped race — yes, strictly we constitute one race, the human race — symbols that “must” be promoted and those the mobs demand suppression of are particularly telling.

    We cannot say that we have not been warned in good time.

    Those who refuse to learn from history . . .


  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Notice a trend?

    July 16: Statue of Christ decapitated inside a Florida church

    July 15: Statue of Virgin Mary decapitated outside Tennessee church

    July 12: Statue of Virgin Mary lit on fire in Boston

    July 11: Suspect arrested after detectives “say he plowed a minivan through the front door of Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Ocala, doused the foyer with gasoline and set it on fire, causing extensive damage”

    July 11: Arson suspected in devastating fire at San Gabriel Mission in California

    July 10: Statue of Virgin Mary desecrated with spray paint in Brooklyn

    July 4: Statue of St. Junipero Serra toppled in Sacramento, California

    June 20: Statue of St. Junipero Serra toppled in Los Angeles, California

    June 19: Statue of St. Junipero Serra toppled in San Francisco, California

    May 31: St. John’s Church firebombed in Washington, DC

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: John Gray of the UK in DM on Red Guards:

    >>Today, our universities are bastions of Left-wing, woke orthodoxy. Any dissenting voices – however mild in their beliefs – have to be silenced. And a growing number of schools are now joining universities in propagating this ideology.

    ‘Critical race theory’ – a sub-Marxist ideology in which ‘white privilege’ is invoked to explain all kinds of injustice – is increasingly being taught as part of ‘decolonising the curriculum’.

    Indeed, no subject is immune from this re-education campaign in our schools and universities.>>

    While he speaks of UK cases, he points to the US as epicentre and lists:

    >>there is a witch- hunt which has seen leading figures driven from American institutions.

    Last week, the senior curator of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art resigned, accused of ‘white supremacist language’ after he stated that refusing to collect white artists would be ‘reverse discrimination’.

    And an opinion editor and writer at the New York Times resigned, citing ‘constant bullying by colleagues’ who attacked what they called her ‘forays into Wrongthink’. This reference to George Orwell’s novel 1984 – where people are punished for ‘thought-crime’ – is very telling.

    What’s more, major American news providers and magazines are now operating a system in which staff are encouraged to snitch on their colleagues and denounce one another on Twitter.

    This hounding of people is strikingly reminiscent of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, which convulsed communist China from 1966-1976 and wrecked much of what remained of the country’s ancient civilisation.

    The only way someone accused of thought-crime could escape punishment was through public confession, ‘re-education’ and abject apology in so-called ‘struggle sessions’, in which they were humiliated and tormented by their accusers.

    Tragically, the woke movement has reinvented this vile ritual, with teachers, journalists, professors and others seeking to hang on to their jobs by desperately begging forgiveness.

    In some ways, today’s Twitter Maoism is worse than the original Chinese version. Mao’s Cultural Revolution was unleashed by a communist dictator, who used the upheaval to consolidate his power.

    Conversely, in Britain and America today, our leading institutions have shamefully surrendered their own authority to a destructive ideology.

    It is vital that this ideological rampage does not rage on for a decade as Mao’s did in China.

    Otherwise we will find our freedom lost to a movement that aims to dictate how we live and think, and British civilisation will suffer irreparable harm.>>

    Let us think very carefully about where we are headed.


  20. 20
    Mac McTavish says:

    KF@18, I fully support the constructive criticism of any religion or atheism. It is only by this means that belief and religion can remain relevant. However, vandalizing property is not constructive criticism.

    If someone wants to make the argument that the depictions of Christ are racist, I am open to their arguments.

  21. 21
    ET says:

    Until very recently I argued that the depictions of Jesus were racist. Then I realized that after His death Jesus appeared and continues to appear to people as they would accept Him. That seems to be part of “made in OUR image”.

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:


    yes, sound reform is an ever present challenge for any institution staffed by finite, fallible, morally struggling, too often willfully blind or ill-willed creatures. That is a constant of any human institution including the churches.

    Sadly, that is not what we are dealing with here.

    What we have is implied understanding that our civilisation was decisively shaped by the synthesis of the heritage of Jerusalem, Athens and Rome (with the River valleys behind, including the very mixed heritage of one certain Nimrod MacCush) presaged in the triple inscription over Jesus’ head on a cross “outside a city wall” as he suffered judicial murder at the hands of corrupt power elites playing dirty power games. Aramaic — Jerusalem, Greek — Athens, Latin — Rome. Guilty, guilty, guilty. But, redemption was literally hanging under the sign of guilt under false colour of law.

    The hostility we see with the roaming Red Guards is to civilisation, and manifests utter misanthropy through Kafkaesque entrapment through demand for ever-perfect cradle to grave conformity to an ever evolving, incoherent party-line. So, one is always hopelessly guilty before the mob whose premise of judgement is that their accusation is proof and apology is confession; resistance or questioning is even stronger proof.

    Heads I win, tails you lose and you cannot walk away. (sometimes, literally.)

    This is the principle of soul-tainting, conscience squashing entrapment, hopeless subjugation and bully-boy domineering.

    In that context, our civilisation is deemed the focus of ir-reformable evils and it must be crushed.

    That is how every hero, every institution, our very words are now to be subjugated under, deconstructed by and changed at demand or whim of the Red Guard Mob, its backers and publicists.

    It is not to hard to predict that soon, a critical mass will see that they have nothing left to lose and the surge of fight-back is going to be terrible. (Start with, the 1,000 yard, 6.5 mm veto.)

    The next 6 – 18 months in the US — geostrategic centre of the civilisation — will be decisive.

    And the Red Guards don’t realise they are expendable cannon fodder.

    Oh what fools we have been to bring our civilisation to this sad pass.


  23. 23
    Mac McTavish says:

    KF@22, I see current events as a positive. Not that I condone any violence, on either side. But I can’t think of any positive societal change that wasn’t the result of some level of civil disobedience. It is the civil disobedience that brings issues to the public’s attention and forces us to look at the issue more seriously than we would have under normal conditions.

    Whether we look at US independence, the abolition movement, women’s suffrage, the civil rights movement, the pro-life movement or the gay rights movement, they all involved civil disobedience and the breaking of existing laws.

    The latest push to remove Confederate monuments and statues has forced us to look at the issue from different perspectives. Considering that many of these were originally erected in reaction to expanded civil rights in the south, I tend to side with having them removed.

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    MMT, we have an active, Red Guard fronted cultural marxist, anti-civilisation insurgency as street elements in a 4th gen civil war that is steadily becoming more kinetic. Of course, they ride piggyback on genuine concerns and issues, that is what marxists have done for 100+ years. I can support measured, reasonable reforms but never will I support marxist insurgency, I know too much history, I saw what they did to my native land, and the voices of the ghosts of 100 million victims of the all time most murderous regimes in history moan out warnings. If history seems unimpressive, simply look to Cuba and Venezuela in this hemisphere. We must not allow ourselves to be naive about what is going on. KF

    PS: That you imagine it is a push to “remove” Confederate statues tells me you haven’t been paying close enough attention. There is a reason why abolitionists, former slaves, writers as famous as Cervantes [who was once enslaved himself], missionaries, saints, US founders and other noteworthy people, the police, anyone who challenges the radical agenda and even random people driving on the street or walking — in some cases with babies — are being targetted, not to mention businesses, police stations, govt offices, churches and even private residences too, targetted by Red Guards. The real target is our civilisation and constitutional, lawful self government. Wake up before it is too late.

  25. 25
    Mac McTavish says:

    As to:

    an active, Red Guard fronted cultural marxist, anti-civilisation insurgency as street elements in a 4th gen civil war that is steadily becoming more kinetic.

    I give you:

    “[A]bout fifteen of us children were outside my aunt Seneva’s house, playing in her dirt yard. The sky began clouding over, the wind started picking up, lightning flashed far off in the distance, and suddenly I wasn’t thinking about playing anymore; I was terrified…

    Aunt Seneva was the only adult around, and as the sky blackened and the wind grew stronger, she herded us all inside.

    Her house was not the biggest place around, and it seemed even smaller with so many children squeezed inside. Small and surprisingly quiet. All of the shouting and laughter that had been going on earlier, outside, had stopped. The wind was howling now, and the house was starting to shake. We were scared. Even Aunt Seneva was scared.

    And then it got worse. Now the house was beginning to sway. The wood plank flooring beneath us began to bend. And then, a corner of the room started lifting up.

    I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. None of us could. This storm was actually pulling the house toward the sky. With us inside it.

    That was when Aunt Seneva told us to clasp hands. Line up and hold hands, she said, and we did as we were told. Then she had us walk as a group toward the corner of the room that was rising. From the kitchen to the front of the house we walked, the wind screaming outside, sheets of rain beating on the tin roof. Then we walked back in the other direction, as another end of the house began to lift.

    And so it went, back and forth, fifteen children walking with the wind, holding that trembling house down with the weight of our small bodies.

    More than half a century has passed since that day, and it has struck me more than once over those many years that our society is not unlike the children in that house, rocked again and again by the winds of one storm or another, the walls around us seeming at times as if they might fly apart.

    It seemed that way in the 1960s, at the height of the civil rights movement, when America itself felt as if it might burst at the seams—so much tension, so many storms. But the people of conscience never left the house. They never ran away. They stayed, they came together and they did the best they could, clasping hands and moving toward the corner of the house that was the weakest.

    And then another corner would lift, and we would go there.

    And eventually, inevitably, the storm would settle, and the house would still stand.

    But we knew another storm would come, and we would have to do it all over again.

    And we did.

    And we still do, all of us. You and I.

    Children holding hands, walking with the wind. . . .”

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    MMT, an odd passage, provenance not given. However, it might help you to know that I lived through a low kinetic 4th gen civil war tied to the Cold War’s 80’s peak, in my native land. Two interesting phenomena are, first, that there was in effect an implicit conspiracy of silence not to acknowledge it for what it was . . . only in recent years has that character been openly discussed. Linked, there is a characteristic pattern of processes and dynamics in such a no-front lines civil conflict that clearly tie to the Red Guards and the Cultural Revolution. My general conclusion is that war under the nuclear shadow has shifted drastically, taking up some very old features and some new ones, with agit prop, street theatre, media amplification, narrative dominance and lawfare operations being central. KF

  27. 27
    Mac McTavish says:

    KF, that was written by the late John Lewis. A man who broke laws during the civil rights movement to advance equality.

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    MMT, Mr Lewis needs to be duly respected. However, civil disobedience is not to be equated to rioting or to Red Guard coup insurgencies as 4th generation war operations; something obvious since the 1960’s when Mao exploited youngsters to claw back power he lost by reckless and bbloody, failed initiatives . . . see the great leap forward. For simple instance, once a protest becomes violent and destructive, continued involvement of “peaceful” protesters becomes enabling behaviour, which is lawless. I think the root challenge is we are by and large insufficiently aware of relevant history regarding how unstable democracy is, and the implications of undermining key cultural buttresses. The implication is that triggering the threat or actuality of anarchic chaos pushes towards the vortex of tyranny, the common fate of radical revolutions since 1789. Those who open up that threat bear direct responsibility for enabling tyranny, and indirect responsibility for what it takes to fight back out of it again, copious blood and tears — witness Germany and Russia over the past 100+ years, noting the OP above. Worse, no reasonably democratic modern polity is locked against responsible movements of peaceful reform, so it becomes obvious that the sponsors behind red guard cannon fodder on the streets are interested primarily in radical power seizure by coup or subversion, not actually in resolving the issues and concerns they exploit. KF

  29. 29
    Mac McTavish says:

    KF, I guess that I am more optimistic than you. I prefer vandalism to violence. And peaceful protest to vandalism. However, there has never been change in society that wasn’t the result of protest. And there has never been widespread protest without some violence.

    You have to keep in mind what the recent protests have been about. They were, themselves, the response to unjustified violence. Have they resulted in some vandalism and violence? Yes. But the vast majority have been peaceful. And of the ones that resulted in violence, how many of those were made far worse by the overhanded actions of authorities?

    Since you have mentioned tyranny, how do you describe the use of anonymous federal agents stepping in without the approval of the state?

  30. 30
    jerry says:

    You have to keep in mind what the recent protests have been about. They were, themselves, the response to unjustified violence

    This is nonsense! What the Floyd incident proves is just the exact opposite. There are over hundred million police incidents each year ranging from traffic stops to people killing others.

    Yes, the incident is real but is so extreme that is rarely happens. There was never anything justified as a result of the video except that there was one act of depravity using an approved method by the local police department. So one incident is proof that there is almost zero problem with policing. The actual incident was inaugurated by an African American police officer and witness by another minority police officer. Two of the four police officers in the Floyd incident were minority. Hardly racism.

    This reaction has nothing to do with race or George Floyd. One can argue with a lot of backup evidence that the United States is the least racist society in the history of the planet.

    When was BLM a big deal in the past? Answer: Four years ago during the last presidential election.

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:


    vandalism is violence.

    Violence here being the indefensible, unjustified use of force. There is just or excusable use of force, and there are accidents that can be hugely destructive — witness the fire that just gutted a US$ 4 bn vessel.

    Perhaps, you mean that violence against private or community property or the commons is better than violence against the person.

    That also fails, as one’s right to legitimately acquired property is a fundamental right, just as is one’s right to innocent reputation. This extends to the community, including the right to the civil peace. Willful vandalism, destruction of property, arson, attacks on peace officers and the imposition of mob rule are all threats to sound community order.

    They also destroy tangible and intangible capital including social capital. That imposes all sorts of short term and long term costs and especially evaporated opportunities. For just one example, potential investors were just sent a huge set of messages, with more to follow.

    There is a legitimate right of petition for redress, which implies peaceful protest. Where remonstrance fails, there is a right of revolution, where the general election is a means of revolution without bloodshed, bought at horrific price. However, those who take up a call to such take up enormous responsibilities for consequences. Including, that the history of radical revolutions since 1789 has been almost uniformly horrifically, needlessly bloody and tyrannical.

    Even in the US case, a postponed issue, over 80+ years, was not responsibly handled and cost 600,000 lives. Yes, the first civil war [#2 is “already in progress,” at Bleeding Kansas stage . . . playing out in a 4GW pattern] was a postponed issue of the Revolution.

    I again point to the OP above.

    Those who refuse to learn from sound history . . .

    And yes, the next 6 – 18 months will be pivotal.


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    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, I am satisfied that BLM is a classic largely Astroturf front operation, with Antifa much deeper than that. Both are being used as Red Guards, to trigger mob rule manipulated by culture form marxist operators with an anti civilisation agenda. What we see was in preparation with organisation, training, mobilisation, financing and logistics put in place for years; perhaps up to a decade. Parallel lines of action have been underway to corrupt the media, lawmaking, law enforcement, courts and education. History is being deceitfully rewritten to fit ideologies. The cultural buttresses that stabilise democratic self government are being undermined. They are playing 1984 newspeak language and symbol manipulation games and much more. KF

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    jerry says:


    History is being deceitfully rewritten to fit ideologies. The cultural buttresses that stabilise democratic self government are being undermined. They are playing 1984 newspeak language and symbol manipulation games and much more

    There is a popular T-shirt now available that reads

    Make Orwell fiction again

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    kairosfocus says:

    Where can i get one?

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    jerry says:


    Just search for “make Orwell fiction again t shirt”

    There are several results including Amazon. So pick the style you want. I don’t know about delivery time to the Caribbean.

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    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: As an illustration of the mentality and agit prop stratagems we are up against, kindly see Dr Willie Soon’s reply to a BBC journalist’s inquiry here: Note the comments by informed experts on handling spin game slander media. KF

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    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, thanks, I looked. Interesting, including the different takes on the talking point. KF

    PS: Again, first duties of reason:

    We can readily identify at least seven inescapable first duties of reason. Inescapable, as they are so antecedent to reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to them; i.e. they are self-evident. Duties, to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to neighbour, so also to fairness and justice etc. Such built in law is not invented by parliaments or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature. Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right. Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law.

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