Wednesday, January 2, 2013

An Invitation to Think, pt.1

Left Libertarianism,sort of, part1

It’s a Dirty Word, right?
To me, in my Lexicon, “Liberal” denotes a slew of Ideas, none of which includes a Love of Big Government…Neither does it include a fondness for Joe Stalin.
Again, our Definitions require some work.

All I’m after, aside from a total reordering of the Way We Do Things (Ha!), is a sort of Renaissance of Thought and Discussion.
I abhor Knee-Jerk, Automata.
My Philosophy is rooted in Socratic Perplexity…”I don’t Know”…for, if one is Certain, then there can be no honest Questioning…nor a Perceived Need for it.
One of the Fundaments of the American Right is Certainty, without Reflection.
It is just Assumed that we know what we’re talking about…Assumed that, say, Beck is intellectually Honest, with his chalkboard…
I challenge that assertion.
…and I firmly Believe that such Challenges are Necessary, in order to further the Human Project.
Certainty shuts down Inquiry.
As Orwell said, “Orthodoxy is Unconsciousness”.
Our capacity for Thought is the defining Feature of our Species.
 “Homo Sapiens”= “Thoughtful Ape”.
In the hustle and bustle of ordinary Life, we forget this…we fall into Ruts…
Ideology is a Rut.
From our Rut, we are no longer able to see what is around us…only up and down that Rut.
This Negates our defining Feature, as Humans…walls us in, to a world circumscribed, increasingly by Unknowns.
There is an adage…I don’t know where I found it…”We Hate what We Fear, and We Fear what We do not Understand.”
I see evidence for the veracity of this statement, almost every day.
Fear and Hatred and Misunderstanding…Ignorance(Gr. “Not Knowing”)…defines America in the early 21st Century.
This need not be a death sentence…but it surely will be, if We cannot step back, calm down, and Think about things. Socrates asserted that, in order to Find Out, in order to Know, one must first take the Position of Not Knowing.
So, as in all of my writings and screeds and hollering at trees, let us stop…and Think.
Let us revisit our Assumptions…those parts of the workings of Our Minds that we think We Know…let us revisit the Definitions of the words We use….are they accurate? Are they Coherent?
Are the Definitions handed to us, ready made, really the most accurate? The most Applicable?
I submit that they are not.
I think that We can do better…but first, We must return to First Principals…even if it, at first, seems like reinventing the Wheel.
In this little 4 part screed, I intend to throw many things against the wall, as it were.
It may seem, at times, that I think I have the “Answer”…but this would be a misunderstanding.
What I’m after is Thought….about Our Predicament, here in this Far Place….and Discussion.
The many Links that I include are intended to further this…lots of Ideas…many contradictory…
Many of them merely Point to one Problem, or another…Problems that We may have Overlooked or Ignored, in Our Certainty….in Our Unconsciousness.
There are some, and they know who they are, who would like nothing better than to shut down such Thinking and Questioning…to keep Us safely in Our Ruts. Many of them believe this way out of Fear.
Mostly, I think, Fear of the Unknown and of Change….both of which are, admittedly, Scary.
We must have the Courage to Think…to Question…if there is to be any Hope.
If your Idea….your Belief…has any Value, that Value can only be Increased by such Questioning. If Questioning destroys your Belief, then of what Value was it, to begin with?
Good Ideas stand up to Questions….but only if We have the Courage to ask them.
I Challenge You…get out of your Rut…take a look around…and when you feel your Knee beginning to Jerk, restrain it…and, above all , Think.

per usual, here are a mess o’ links, constituting a soup I swim in…inclusion does not, as always, imply total agreement. (the whole little series on Berlin is worth a read)
I got yer First Principals, right here….

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