Mercury

Keyes: Stop Obama or U.S. will cease to exist.

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The Christian conservative Alan Keyes excoriates Obama in this Youtube clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqkMfToY9Pk...feature=related

If the conservatives were really serious about their "conservative principles," they would turn to Keyes, who, as an absolutist, is unelectable today. I used to pay some attention to him in my early years in America (he was running then and was popular in Texas), but he fell off the radar several years ago.

With some Googling, I found some other clips regarding Keyes' electoral fight against Obama in Illinois. It is interesting to note that, had Keyes succeeded, we would probably have been spared Obama. The way Keyes' loss was spun at the time, I thought Keyes had become a nutjob. I disagree with many of his ideas, but I was really surprised to read some of the reporting back then. In the following clip, we see evidence that the mainstream media's unabashed propaganda for Obama had begun early in his political life:

Thomas Sowell weighed in on the Keyes/Obama battle at the time:

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell082004.asp

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I read a lot of his writing at his website when he was running for office, and think he is just as bad as Obama (interesting that he hates Obama - my guess is that Obama is a rival he can identify with). He argued that the constitution does not prohibit the establishment of religion, and that religion should be established as the moral basis for the U.S. government. IMO he's no mixed bag with a lot of good points, like Limbaugh -- he's plain evil -- and I think it would be a major disaster if he (or anyone like him) was considered to be some supposedly better alternative over Obama.

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I read a lot of his writing at his website when he was running for office, and think he is just as bad as Obama (interesting that he hates Obama - my guess is that Obama is a rival he can identify with). He argued that the constitution does not prohibit the establishment of religion, and that religion should be established as the moral basis for the U.S. government. IMO he's no mixed bag with a lot of good points, like Limbaugh -- he's plain evil -- and I think it would be a major disaster if he (or anyone like him) was considered to be some supposedly better alternative over Obama.

Do you think these people really believe this religous nonsense, or is it just something they mouth because focus groups tell them to?

The reason I ask is something Howard Dean is reported to have said When asked his favourite book of the New Testamant, he replied "The book of Job"

I don't see how you could have any understanding at all about christianity and come out with a remark that stupid. However, if you were just spouting an answer you thought people wanted to hear, it is entirely understandable

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I read a lot of his writing at his website when he was running for office, and think he is just as bad as Obama (interesting that he hates Obama - my guess is that Obama is a rival he can identify with). He argued that the constitution does not prohibit the establishment of religion, and that religion should be established as the moral basis for the U.S. government. IMO he's no mixed bag with a lot of good points, like Limbaugh -- he's plain evil -- and I think it would be a major disaster if he (or anyone like him) was considered to be some supposedly better alternative over Obama.

I'm certainly not a fan of his, besides a certain respect for his absolutism and love of America - or what he thinks she is.

But, his views are "core conservative" views (end the income tax, a strong military, anti-abortion, conflation of church and state, anti-homosexual-marriage, anti-"illegal"-immigration, etc). On which issues would you say that he and Limbaugh disagree?

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He argued that the constitution does not prohibit the establishment of religion, and that religion should be established as the moral basis for the U.S. government. IMO he's no mixed bag with a lot of good points, like Limbaugh -- he's plain evil -- and I think it would be a major disaster if he (or anyone like him) was considered to be some supposedly better alternative over Obama.

I agree with you about Keyes, but definitely not about Limbaugh. Limbaugh may be personally religious, but he doesn't seek to impose his religion on others. He argues his position, even when he is wrong, based on facts. As for Limbaugh's own religion, he seems to be more of a deist than a practicing, observant Christian.

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He argued that the constitution does not prohibit the establishment of religion, and that religion should be established as the moral basis for the U.S. government. IMO he's no mixed bag with a lot of good points, like Limbaugh -- he's plain evil -- and I think it would be a major disaster if he (or anyone like him) was considered to be some supposedly better alternative over Obama.

I agree with you about Keyes, but definitely not about Limbaugh...

I read Mercury's statement to mean he was contrasting Limbaugh with Keyes, not saying they are alike. I suppose Mercury should clarify. Or do you mean the characterization as a "mixed bag"? Limbaugh is mixed, but it's a matter of degree in which realm. He is very good when he sticks to facts and political and economic analysis, which he normally does. It is more mixed when he advocates individualism, but when trying to explicitly defend it becomes confused and vague, without realizing it, and tries to tie it to religion and utiltarianism, which is just wrong.

Alan Keyes is a moot point, politically. He did very, very poorly when he tried to run in the Republican primary, and revealed himself in the debates as a rambling demagogue with "preacher's eloquence", i.e., meaningless rhetoric smoothly and dramatically delivered, with no substance.

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I'm not sure how what I wrote re: Limbaugh was taken, but to clarify I was only trying to contrast Limbaugh, one of the best conservatives (while acknowledging that the best conservatives are mixed) with Keyes, who is really bad.

That they are both identified with the same term "conservative," only shows how rubbery a term 'conservative' is. I think we've discussed that word in the past, and that its meaning is entirely context-dependent, with the important question being: what does a specific individual consider it most important to conserve?

I actually think that Keyes is more of a radical theocrat than a conservative. He'd like to convince people (enough people to put him in power anyway) that his theocratic ideals are actually conservative American ideals -- which they are not -- if conservative American ideals support freedom. He has been pretty obvious about his theocratic ideas in the past, but maybe he sees now which approach 'succeeds' in getting votes.

He may hate Obama, but I wouldn't be surpised if he takes a page out of his book --- because Obama is better at obfuscating his actual agenda -- and Keyes now sees the level of dishonesty that is (currently) required for a power-luster to acquire power. Obama's 'dishonesty skills' are in another league from Keyes.

Many people, who hold a variety of ideas, think that Obama supports their ideas. Keyes would like for 'conservatives' to think that he supports their ideas, but he's failed, probably because has not yet been as blatantly dishonest about his agenda as Obama has. But he may either 'learn' from Obama's "success" -- or there may eventually be enough people who start to think that theocracy is American to put him in power.

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He argued that the constitution does not prohibit the establishment of religion, and that religion should be established as the moral basis for the U.S. government. IMO he's no mixed bag with a lot of good points, like Limbaugh -- he's plain evil -- and I think it would be a major disaster if he (or anyone like him) was considered to be some supposedly better alternative over Obama.

I agree with you about Keyes, but definitely not about Limbaugh...

I read Mercury's statement to mean he was contrasting Limbaugh with Keyes, not saying they are alike. I suppose Mercury should clarify. Or do you mean the characterization as a "mixed bag"? Limbaugh is mixed, but it's a matter of degree in which realm. He is very good when he sticks to facts and political and economic analysis, which he normally does. It is more mixed when he advocates individualism, but when trying to explicitly defend it becomes confused and vague, without realizing it, and tries to tie it to religion and utiltarianism, which is just wrong.

Alan Keyes is a moot point, politically. He did very, very poorly when he tried to run in the Republican primary, and revealed himself in the debates as a rambling demagogue with "preacher's eloquence", i.e., meaningless rhetoric smoothly and dramatically delivered, with no substance.

ewv, it appears Betsy was responding to Rose Lake, not to me.

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Alan Keyes is a moot point, politically. He did very, very poorly when he tried to run in the Republican primary, and revealed himself in the debates as a rambling demagogue with "preacher's eloquence", i.e., meaningless rhetoric smoothly and dramatically delivered, with no substance.

My point about Keyes and the conservatives, is this: Keyes is the most complete example of their confusion. He is an absolutist on every position the conservatives hold dear. I am not saying that I want them to run him in 2012 or whenever. I am saying that his existence, and political failure, demonstrate the weakness of the conservatives. They cannot be true to their own "principles." Either they accept Objectivism or bust.

Consider the irritating argument Keyes makes in this clip. This is someone trying to co-opt "reason" but not being - or coming across as - reasonable.

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I'm not sure how what I wrote re: Limbaugh was taken, but to clarify I was only trying to contrast Limbaugh, one of the best conservatives (while acknowledging that the best conservatives are mixed) with Keyes, who is really bad.

Limbaugh is better, if only because he is more a champion of corporate America than a champion of Jesus. But you still haven't pointed out on which issues he and Keyes disagree.

That they are both identified with the same term "conservative," only shows how rubbery a term 'conservative' is. I think we've discussed that word in the past, and that its meaning is entirely context-dependent, with the important question being: what does a specific individual consider it most important to conserve?

Which is why the "conservative principles" blather is a dead-end.

I actually think that Keyes is more of a radical theocrat than a conservative. He'd like to convince people (enough people to put him in power anyway) that his theocratic ideals are actually conservative American ideals -- which they are not -- if conservative American ideals support freedom. He has been pretty obvious about his theocratic ideas in the past, but maybe he sees now which approach 'succeeds' in getting votes.

I agree that Keyes' godliness is radical and theocratic, although he would probably say he appears radical because God is rarely spoken about today and people are more jarred by his Biblical references than they would have been in the past.

He may hate Obama, but I wouldn't be surpised if he takes a page out of his book --- because Obama is better at obfuscating his actual agenda -- and Keyes now sees the level of dishonesty that is (currently) required for a power-luster to acquire power. Obama's 'dishonesty skills' are in another league from Keyes.

So, you think Keyes is dishonest? How so? He is a very outspoken guy who doesn't mind stepping on toes. Dishonest people usually don't behave that way. I would say that, at his worst, he comes across as an irritating polemicist; but, at his best, he comes across as an overly-religious Enlightenment type.

Many people, who hold a variety of ideas, think that Obama supports their ideas. Keyes would like for 'conservatives' to think that he supports their ideas, but he's failed, probably because has not yet been as blatantly dishonest about his agenda as Obama has. But he may either 'learn' from Obama's "success" -- or there may eventually be enough people who start to think that theocracy is American to put him in power.

Why do you think Keyes is trying to put one over? That's quite a price to pay, given the unpopular positions he's championed for so long. I think if he were a true powerluster, he could've won power as a Democrat - or even as a moderate Republican. But, I admit, he does appear desperate to be President -- on his own terms however.

Obama is a Marxist, Chicago-machine politician who attended a 'black church' in the 'black community' in order to get and keep power. He never saw a pragmatic opportunity he didn't like - or take. I don't it's fair to put Keyes' motives in the same boat as Obama's. I think some of Keyes' ideas are evil, but I don't think he is. Obama is a low-brow conman with an ideology fueled by hatred for America and for individualism. An individualism which Keyes, in some ways, represents.

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Consider the irritating argument Keyes makes in this clip. This is someone trying to co-opt "reason" but not being - or coming across as - reasonable.

What a bunch of double-talking, rationalistic blather from both of them.

Why do you think Keyes is trying to put one over? That's quite a price to pay, given the unpopular positions he's championed for so long. I think if he were a true powerluster, he could've won power as a Democrat - or even as a moderate Republican. But, I admit, he does appear desperate to be President -- on his own terms however.

Obama is a Marxist, Chicago-machine politician who attended a 'black church' in the 'black community' in order to get and keep power. He never saw a pragmatic opportunity he didn't like - or take. I don't it's fair to put Keyes' motives in the same boat as Obama's. I think some of Keyes' ideas are evil, but I don't think he is. Obama is a low-brow conman with an ideology fueled by hatred for America and for individualism. An individualism which Keyes, in some ways, represents.

I agree that Obama is the worse threat. Either of these sophists would have qualified to write convoluted Church dogma in the Middle Ages. Both of the them are tying to "put something over", and both are evil. Keyes is trying to put over a metaphysical con job and Obama is a more mundane power seeker using lawyer's tricks picked up at Harvard. In that sense Keyes could be said to be the more evil in his scope, but Obama is still the greater threat in the current context because he is a thug who knows how to pull it off and Keyes is too looney to get anywhere.

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So, you think Keyes is dishonest? How so?

His dishonesty is to promote his whole "theocracy equals Americanism" package. This is intellectual dishonesty. As ewv (I think) pointed out, he's a rationalist through and through. The volume of information that any man in modern society must evade in order to hold the beliefs he does is the proof of his dishonesty. It is faith which causes him to hold unpopular positions. And that can be said of any more-rather-than-less-consistent altruist -- for instance -- Osama Bin Laden. No honest individual living in modern society today can really believe and preach such evil nonsense -- especially not with Objectivism readily available.

And (to answer another question) the enormous difference between Keyes and someone like Limbaugh is focus. Keyes is focused on the worst aspect of conservatism, i.e. on religion. Limbaugh's focus is on the best, i.e. on political-level promotion of limited government and anti welfare-statism.

To put the difference in a simple way, but one that works for me -- Keyes is an American RELIGIONIST. Limbaugh is a religious AMERICAN.

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No honest individual living in modern society today can really believe and preach such evil nonsense -- especially not with Objectivism readily available.

I was almost 38 before I knew that Objectivism even existed. (In fact, I'd never even encountered the word "epistemology" before then.) Granted, it's extremely difficult to believe that anyone in Keyes's position managed to get there without hearing of Objectivism, but it is certainly the case that there are good people out there who hold wrong ideas honestly* - I have always been passionately devoted to the truth, though I was incorrect in many, many areas for those 37+ years.

I wouldn't reach a conclusion of "evil" until I was certain that the person I'm judging could reasonably be expected to have a knowledge of Objectivism beyond having heard its name and that of Ayn Rand. Does that excuse evil done by those ignorant of correct philosophy and ethics - no. But it does explain that it may not be deliberate, conscious evil.

_____

* Though fewer and fewer of them, especially now that Objectivism is getting all this recent press.

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I was almost 38 before I knew that Objectivism even existed. (In fact, I'd never even encountered the word "epistemology" before then.) Granted, it's extremely difficult to believe that anyone in Keyes's position managed to get there without hearing of Objectivism, but it is certainly the case that there are good people out there who hold wrong ideas honestly* - I have always been passionately devoted to the truth, though I was incorrect in many, many areas for those 37+ years.

During those years, did you ever advocate spreading your ideas by force?

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No honest individual living in modern society today can really believe and preach such evil nonsense -- especially not with Objectivism readily available.

I was almost 38 before I knew that Objectivism even existed. (In fact, I'd never even encountered the word "epistemology" before then.) Granted, it's extremely difficult to believe that anyone in Keyes's position managed to get there without hearing of Objectivism, but it is certainly the case that there are good people out there who hold wrong ideas honestly* - I have always been passionately devoted to the truth, though I was incorrect in many, many areas for those 37+ years.

I wouldn't reach a conclusion of "evil" until I was certain that the person I'm judging could reasonably be expected to have a knowledge of Objectivism beyond having heard its name and that of Ayn Rand. Does that excuse evil done by those ignorant of correct philosophy and ethics - no. But it does explain that it may not be deliberate, conscious evil.

_____

* Though fewer and fewer of them, especially now that Objectivism is getting all this recent press.

Even without any explicit knowledge of Objectivism, it's out there and is influencing the evolution of ideas in the culture. Besides, radical rationalistic religionism is an entirely different matter from an honest search for truth. Both you and I were quite late in finding Objectivism. But we didn't get into politics and advocate for theocracy by attempting to convince people that it is compatible with the founding ideals of America. Any honest study of the founding of America would not allow that.

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I wouldn't reach a conclusion of "evil" until I was certain that the person I'm judging could reasonably be expected to have a knowledge of Objectivism beyond having heard its name and that of Ayn Rand. Does that excuse evil done by those ignorant of correct philosophy and ethics - no. But it does explain that it may not be deliberate, conscious evil.

So no one was evil before Ayn Rand created her philosophy as an alternative?

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I wouldn't reach a conclusion of "evil" until I was certain that the person I'm judging could reasonably be expected to have a knowledge of Objectivism beyond having heard its name and that of Ayn Rand. Does that excuse evil done by those ignorant of correct philosophy and ethics - no. But it does explain that it may not be deliberate, conscious evil.

So no one was evil before Ayn Rand created her philosophy as an alternative?

The context of my post was Rose's statement about the widespread availability of Objectivism in the present. If you want to broaden the context, then I'd amend my statement to something...well...broader, like "I wouldn't reach a conclusion of 'evil' until I was certain that the person I'm judging could reasonably be expected to have a knowledge of objectivity and rationality beyond just knowing the terms exist." Note, before dissecting the new version, that I'm speaking generally. If you want a more precise, more all-encompassing formulation, I'll work on a research paper (after I achieve all the values that are higher on my personal value hierarchy ;)).

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I was almost 38 before I knew that Objectivism even existed. (In fact, I'd never even encountered the word "epistemology" before then.) Granted, it's extremely difficult to believe that anyone in Keyes's position managed to get there without hearing of Objectivism, but it is certainly the case that there are good people out there who hold wrong ideas honestly* - I have always been passionately devoted to the truth, though I was incorrect in many, many areas for those 37+ years.

During those years, did you ever advocate spreading your ideas by force?

Well, I believed in things that would require force, though I never actively sought their implementation by, say, engaging in politics. For example, in my late teens I thought that all education, all the way through post-graduate, should be "free," though at the time I had no idea whatsoever what that would mean in practice - a textbook case of "it ought to be done - somehow."

As I said, I was mistaken about many things.

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Even without any explicit knowledge of Objectivism, it's out there and is influencing the evolution of ideas in the culture. Besides, radical rationalistic religionism is an entirely different matter from an honest search for truth. Both you and I were quite late in finding Objectivism. But we didn't get into politics and advocate for theocracy by attempting to convince people that it is compatible with the founding ideals of America. Any honest study of the founding of America would not allow that.

Good point. Certainly it's possible to know what'sright without knowing Objectivism - after all, Ayn Rand managed it without herself to refer to. ;)

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Well, I believed in things that would require force, though I never actively sought their implementation by, say, engaging in politics. For example, in my late teens I thought that all education, all the way through post-graduate, should be "free," though at the time I had no idea whatsoever what that would mean in practice - a textbook case of "it ought to be done - somehow."

As I said, I was mistaken about many things.

Being mistaken about what "free" education actually means and actively seeking to force ones religion on hundreds of millions of people are two very different things, worlds apart even. I would have been very surprised if you ever contemplated the latter. Don't do yourself the injustice of comparing yourself to Keyes. There is nothing ever innocent about willful destruction.

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So, you think Keyes is dishonest? How so?

His dishonesty is to promote his whole "theocracy equals Americanism" package. This is intellectual dishonesty. As ewv (I think) pointed out, he's a rationalist through and through. The volume of information that any man in modern society must evade in order to hold the beliefs he does is the proof of his dishonesty. It is faith which causes him to hold unpopular positions. And that can be said of any more-rather-than-less-consistent altruist -- for instance -- Osama Bin Laden. No honest individual living in modern society today can really believe and preach such evil nonsense -- especially not with Objectivism readily available.

And (to answer another question) the enormous difference between Keyes and someone like Limbaugh is focus. Keyes is focused on the worst aspect of conservatism, i.e. on religion. Limbaugh's focus is on the best, i.e. on political-level promotion of limited government and anti welfare-statism.

To put the difference in a simple way, but one that works for me -- Keyes is an American RELIGIONIST. Limbaugh is a religious AMERICAN.

I totally accept what you've written here.

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Well, I believed in things that would require force, though I never actively sought their implementation by, say, engaging in politics. For example, in my late teens I thought that all education, all the way through post-graduate, should be "free," though at the time I had no idea whatsoever what that would mean in practice - a textbook case of "it ought to be done - somehow."

As I said, I was mistaken about many things.

Being mistaken about what "free" education actually means and actively seeking to force ones religion on hundreds of millions of people are two very different things, worlds apart even. I would have been very surprised if you ever contemplated the latter. Don't do yourself the injustice of comparing yourself to Keyes. There is nothing ever innocent about willful destruction.

I don't want to go on record as supporting Keyes. I don't. But, he contradicts himself enough to be misunderstood. Consider this (somewhat florid) writing on his blog, which I found yesterday:

Sarcasm aside, hate crimes legislation is the statutory framework for the forceful imposition of a political and social religion. The so-called liberals mean to institutionalize intolerance, even as they loudly proclaim Holy Tolerance as their all in all. Because we seek to protect a form of human life that they despise, they defame as bigots or religious fanatics people working to re-establish respect for the law against abortion. Meanwhile they move boldly to use the force of law to punish the thoughts and attitudes of any who move against the sacred untouchables of their new cult of sexual pleasure and self-indulgence. Behind their phony slogans of hope and progress comes the return of Dark Age zealotry, dressed up in the fleshy tones of New Age vanity and glamour.

I say unequivocally that I hate this camouflaged return to the dark ages. I detest the persecution of people for their beliefs, thoughts and attitudes. More than anything that has to do with the body, this effort to delve into and directly impose upon the mind rapes the deepest form of privacy and smacks of the detestable crimes that invade the truly most intimate places of human existence in order to impose the leering tastes and heartless fancies of spiritual tyrants disguised as lawmakers and judges.

I am now open to the possibility that he may be lying here.

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I don't want to go on record as supporting Keyes. I don't. But, he contradicts himself enough to be misunderstood. Consider this (somewhat florid) writing on his blog, which I found yesterday:

Sarcasm aside, hate crimes legislation is the statutory framework for the forceful imposition of a political and social religion. The so-called liberals mean to institutionalize intolerance, even as they loudly proclaim Holy Tolerance as their all in all. Because we seek to protect a form of human life that they despise, they defame as bigots or religious fanatics people working to re-establish respect for the law against abortion. Meanwhile they move boldly to use the force of law to punish the thoughts and attitudes of any who move against the sacred untouchables of their new cult of sexual pleasure and self-indulgence. Behind their phony slogans of hope and progress comes the return of Dark Age zealotry, dressed up in the fleshy tones of New Age vanity and glamour.

I say unequivocally that I hate this camouflaged return to the dark ages. I detest the persecution of people for their beliefs, thoughts and attitudes. More than anything that has to do with the body, this effort to delve into and directly impose upon the mind rapes the deepest form of privacy and smacks of the detestable crimes that invade the truly most intimate places of human existence in order to impose the leering tastes and heartless fancies of spiritual tyrants disguised as lawmakers and judges.

I am now open to the possibility that he may be lying here.

I realize this is not addressed to me, but I would say that if he's dishonest because of his package-dealing of the ideals of the American founders with his own theocratic beliefs, that doesn't necessarily mean this statement is a lie. If he wants to advocate theocracy, let him do it without pretending that the ideals on which America is founded support his views. But this kind of intellectual dishonesty doesn't mean that every time he opens his mouth he's lying about what he believes. It means that his core beliefs are invalidated by the evasions necessary to maintain them.

This is actually an interesting passage, though distasteful (to me) to think about psychologically. It seems accurate enough with regard to those he is criticizing, and demonstrates his puritan premise that sexual pleasure is evil. But it also seems to project the medievalism of his own beliefs onto others. It's not that he's wrong about his leftist rivals, but that he utterly fails to see the obvious -- that his own beliefs also come from and lead to the dark ages.

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This is actually an interesting passage, though distasteful (to me) to think about psychologically. It seems accurate enough with regard to those he is criticizing, and demonstrates his puritan premise that sexual pleasure is evil.

This may be a bit of a tangent, but I've always thought it was interesting that both sides accuse the other of materialism. The left accuses the right within the context of property, and the right against the left within the context of sex. There's something bizarre about this, though. When the left says that property is materialistic, what they're objecting to is the fact that property has a spiritual component, ownership. And this is the same attitude of the hippy toward sex. He wants to strip the act of spiritual value, in the name of "free love" (the stupidest term ever invented), to "love" indiscriminately where "love" means only the physical motions of sex. The hippy liberal is a materialist, in the real sense of the term. Now, when puritans on the right denounce sexual pleasure, what they are denouncing is the fact that the spiritual has meaning in physical reality. They believe that once the spiritual touches the physical it has been corrupted. And I think this is part of the chronic guilt among religious conservatives. They are the alleged defenders of property rights, but property sullies them. They have to justify it with arguments about how practical the free market is, rejecting its morality. I think the liberals, the true materialists, know that this element on the right hates the material, so they project that term onto them to milk the guilt, to demoralize them and gain compromises.

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They believe that once the spiritual touches the physical it has been corrupted. And I think this is part of the chronic guilt among religious conservatives. They are the alleged defenders of property rights, but property sullies them. They have to justify it with arguments about how practical the free market is, rejecting its morality. I think the liberals, the true materialists, know that this element on the right hates the material, so they project that term onto them to milk the guilt, to demoralize them and gain compromises.

By the way, I may simply be remembering this argument from somewhere..it seems familiar.

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