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Ideological Conformity- Not ____Enough

 
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Nov, 2002 09:44 am
Belafonte/Powell
The people arguing against Belafonte have engaged in character assassination through the whole thing, yet berate others for using similar tactics. look back at the posts. Belafonte is alined with the MLK faction, yet every other attack goes sort of Sharpton-Belafonte-Sharpton-Belafonte-Sharpton-Jackson-Belafonte. Belafonte has explained the content of his attack a number of times, but conservatives throw up the hysteria to keep it from getting noticed. - Got to run. Have to work on the mother-in-law's roof today. LOL
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Nov, 2002 09:46 am
edgarblythe- This thread is not ABOUT Powell or Rice, or even Belafonte. My intent was to post a thread about people's expectations of how people belonging to certain groups should behave. I used the issue with Belafonte merely to illustrate this tendency.

I think that your concerns about Powell and Rice would be a good topic for another thread.

Apropos of your remarks about character assisination of Belafonte: For many years, I have liked Belafonte. I had always considered him a gentleman. That is why I was shocked by his method of approaching an issue. I believe that it was beneath him.

Have a good time with your m-i-l! :wink:
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Nov, 2002 10:02 am
Belafonte/Powell
If ya don't want it discussed don't bring it up. LOL
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Nov, 2002 11:59 am
Quote:
The people arguing against Belafonte have engaged in character assassination through the whole thing, yet berate others for using similar tactics. look back at the posts.


Gotta say, I agree.

Still bothered by several things I've noted here, still don't have the kind of chunk of time I'd like to put together a coherent response. But just wanted to check in and say that much.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Nov, 2002 12:59 pm
This is the mob mentality of perceiving a well known figure as all bad or all good. Sorry, but it boils down to a cultism instead of merely groups. That is how people behave and it is usually birds-of-a-feather flock together. That is one premise of objectivism I can subscribe to -- groups of people seldom deliver any great creative work where an individual talent and intellect can produce the truly great work in art, politics, social movements, et al. Excuse my redundancy, but a camel is a horse designed by a committee!

You could example a symphony orchestra as a group producing great works of art or even a ballet company but they have to have a guiding hand of a great director/choreographer to excel to the greatest heights.
I apply this to film, sidetracking to one of my own loves, as I still believe the auteur premise is correct.

This is a side track to how people behave as a group but it is relevant. Just get a group of red necks together and you'll find the bottom of the pit.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Nov, 2002 01:32 pm
Belafonte/Powell
No one here has called Belafonte or Powell all good. This is essentially jockeying for the upper ground in the left/right struggle for dominancy. They don't care if Belafonte is good or bad; they just want Powell to look good. I don't really care about Powell the person. I just want Bush's bootlickers out of the national picture. As for objectivists, they can be elitist snobs.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Nov, 2002 01:47 pm
edgarblythe -- not necessary to volunteer as I wasn't referring to anyone in this forum (at least those that qualify haven't shown up...yet). I agree with your assessment of Powell -- I'm sure he has it in him to exert more influence on the administration, it's just that Belefonte is more right than wrong. It just believe the approach may have been a little too extreme to make the point with those who don't coincide with his beliefs. He was baiting them and got the response I'm sure he expected. It's too easy to bait them -- they're in denial and no kind of intervention in their "cozy" little minds are going to change them. That's how cults work. We're witnessing a Punch and Judy marionette show in Washington as usual.

Sorry to get somewhat off the subject onto politics, Phoenix, but it's a necessary example for many reasons.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Nov, 2002 02:24 pm
I also agree about many objectivists actually not being objective at all with their unbendable premises. Rand herself lost me when she began to try and create some kind of spiritualism out of Greek polytheism. Robert Heinlein may have a close tap on the pulse of a form of objectivism. There is a Website of his philosophies. Having been involved with Corporate and Social groups and their committee meetings, I can only laugh at what developed out of any of them. In fact, I'd usually infuriate the group by joking about the validity of the meetings.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Nov, 2002 03:32 pm
I can't let the Heinlein remark go without comment: I loved him as a child and an adolescent--but when i read him as an adult, i was disappointed in myself--that i did not see him for the narrow-minded, self-aggrandizing bigot which he was. His worst, by far, and the the work which has the most of his real personality in it, is Farnham's Freehold. My principal reaction to my revelation about that old bastard was sadness . . .

In about 1971, a work resembling a rap song was created, and was very popular among "militant radicals," but especially among those on the fringe of "radicalism." The work was entitled Whitey's on the Moon." It was a rant about the poverty of blacks in the United States, at the same time that money was being spent on the space program.

I had several objections to it, and voiced them. My experience was similar to that many years later when i gave up the booze. At that time, i found out who were really my friends, and who had simply been drinking companions. Many people actually grew hostile upon learning that i had quit drinking. My experience arising from my negative reaction to Whitey's on the Moon--which you'll remember i voiced--was similar. I found i had some true friends who were "militantly radical." They did not stop being my friends because i expressed opinions they did not like. One or two actually listened, and understood what i was saying. A great many, however, either "lost interest" in me, or actually became openly hostile.

I had tried to point out to those assembled for "the event" of listening to this scurrilous recording, my objections to its content. First, we were all enjoined by our beliefs, not to be prejudiced. Whitey's on the Moon reeked of racial hatred for white people. I've always firmly believed that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Many young radicals, however, considered any criticism of an accepted portion of the radical canon (which this tripe had, apparently, alreay attained) as unacceptable--that mental hardening of the arteries which i call political rectitude was already setting in with a vengeance.

I also pointed out what a true bargain the space program was (and remains). For less than the cost of a single year of the Vietnam War, we got Mercury, Gemini and Appollo. The planned Pioneer and Viking missions to Mars were to cost less (and did cost less) than the cost overruns on the F-16 development program. The space program gave jobs to thousands, which, given that the Feds were the employers, meant that there was affirmative action in hiring, retaining and promoting employees. It meant that those employment standards were required of the companies that did business with the space program.

It meant we had gotten calculators (anyone who did their trig in high school with a slide rule and a note pad knew the value of those little devices right away), heart pace-makers, new materials, new material handling systems, new bio-medical monitoring and testing devices--in short, the pay-off from the space program was immense. It had improved the lives of all Americans, and it had stimulated the economy in far more lasting ways than the benefits of the war to munitions industries and the weapons industry.

I understood, and said as much, the symbolism of the space race, and why, therefore, blacks would object. I also said that the racism expressed by the author was not justified by this, and also pointed out that what appeared justified at first was not, and that an intelligent person ought to be able to look at this, and realize this. I kept my "radical" friends who were truly friends, and did not regret the loss of those who condemn me for what i had said.

The political rectitude gestapo came after me on that one, and i gave them more fuel for the fire they hoped to build around a stake to which they hoped to tie me, by pointing out that the author, like most radical blacks of the day, was doubtlessly a truly sexist, patriarchal type. Even now, in this thread, i don't doubt that there are many who will say i'm being racist--but i'm not, i'm being "culturalist." The Black Panthers and their ilk were just about as sexist and patriarchal as you could imagine. It is part and parcel of the culture of African-Americans--just as it once universally was, and still largely is a part of the culture of European-Americans. Since many of my "radical" acquaintance were women whose experience had radicalized them, this should have resonated. It didn't with most, however, because political rectitude had already set in, and was rapidly becoming the most powerful force in leftist ideology.

Political rectitude has entered into and poisoned conservative and reactionary thought now, as well. "Tests" of the conservatism of those who lead, or benefit from the politics of conservatives and reactionaries must pass these doctrinaire tests to be effective. Political rectitude has poisoned our society, in large measure removing civility, and almost totally destroying both honesty and independent, individualistic thought.
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Diane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Nov, 2002 04:51 pm
Political rectitude has poisoned our society, in large measure removing civility, and almost totally destroying both honesty and independent, individualistic thought.[/quote]

Setanta, your entire post was extraordinarily powerful, but the last sentence pretty much says it all.

The lack of civility, including personal attacks by both sides of the political spectrum, has obliterated any possibility for rational discussion of issues. It's become so polarized that there doesn't seem to be any middle ground.
I am especially troubled by this administration's attitude that anyone who disagrees with its policies is unpatriotic. It is a good example of the insistence of the kind of blind obediance demanded by groups that cover the spectrum from radical to reactionary.

The importance of acting with civility and modesty toward other nations is lost on the Bush administration. We are the most powerful nation on earth. I keep thinking of the old saying, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Unless we can learn to respond with civility and even adopt changes to our policies when necessary to maintain good relations with other countries, our country will inevitably fall into decline.

The link Phoenix provided is a good example of how this insistence on unity and sameness, at the expense of diversity, ultimately self destructs.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Nov, 2002 05:33 pm
I agree with Diane -- very well put, Satana.

Heinlein for being a science fiction writer was extremely narrow in his depictions of humankind. His characters served the plot and the extrapolations now seem almost naive. "The Green Hills of Earth" is probalby my favorite but I'd rather reread Frederick Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth as far as "future history."
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JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Nov, 2002 09:44 pm
Diane and Setanta I agree, power without dignity, what good is it. As some of you know I am a member of the American Society of Friends (Quakers) and several years ago the american Friends Service Committee (AFSC) made arrangements through the UN to send layettes of a sort directly to the women of Iraq for their babies. The items that can be sent are limited. But I try to get a package off every month. My hope is that these women and children will know first hand how much we in the US really do care about them. I consider it as waging peace.
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steissd
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Dec, 2002 11:31 am
Ironically, ethnic and national stereotypes made the former Israeli Prime-Minister Simon Peres to deliver an openly anti-Semitic joke while commenting his loss on the 1996 elections to Benjamin Netanyahu. Mr. Peres said that the Jews defeated Israelis in these elections. Saying this he involuntarily referred to the worst stereotypes regarding Jews that may be found in such sources as "Mein Kampf" or "Protocols of Zion Sages". And Mr. Peres is and was a Jew himself (just like Mr. Netanyahu)...
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Dec, 2002 03:22 pm
possibly totally off topic (you decide) but i was born into a rural farm family in southern colraodo during WWII and at the age of 2 my father got a job with Aramco in Suadi Arabia developing the oil industry there. I was eductated in a English style school with other kids from many cultures and languages. we were required to learn a language from the 1st grade, adding another language each year. it was normative for everyone to speak using appropriate words rather than languages so that everyone was multi-lingual. But in returning to the USA as a young teen in a moderate sized city, the schools were unsure of what to do with me educationally speaking so they gave me a "Test" which was to diagram a sentence. i had no idea what was expected and flunked the test, i was therefor "retarded" and placed in "special ed". while this was my educational experience in America, my social experience was far worse. While i was blond haired and blue eyed i was not "one of them". I talked funny, spelled funny (colour-color) and in the simplist terms i was "alien". the one thing i learned about America was that there is an overwhelming need to conform. We americans really don't like or trust anyone with even the slightest difference and go to great lengths to insure that to be accepted one must be exactly like everyone else be it language or dress or thinking. After these oh so many years i still wonder what kind of fear it takes to be so unaccepting of differences.
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Diane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Dec, 2002 10:25 am
Dyslexia, your post struck a chord with me because some of my relatives could have been the people who were so blind to your educational achievements as well as your educational needs.

I hope you will start a thread on the subject--it is certainly valid as we see fundamentalism spreading more and more, especially in isolated areas of the country.
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