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NeoNote — Dualism

There is an assumption underlying American politics and to a certain extent our discussions here. In order for you to win, in order for you to benefit, someone else if not everyone else must lose. Some call it dualism, some call it either/or, and some call it IS or IS NOT. It's The Law of the Excluded Middle (more or less) and it's usually a false premise.

Something doesn't have to be black OR white. Sometimes it can be sour. Or fuzzy. Or octagonal. By accepting two and only two qualifying conditions, you eliminate all other possibilities, even if those other possibilities may serve your needs better.

For example, Sarah Waggoner is very much caught up in dualism. Any criticism of Democrats means she must attack Trump or Republicans in general. The idea that someone can be critical of Democrats without being a Republican is outside her expectations and almost outside her world view.

Meanwhile, from my perspective the problem isn't Democrats or Republicans. Accepting either premise ignores the obvious (to me), that too much government is the core problem. As long as the discussion is about either Party Red or Party Blue, we don't talk about an ever expanding technocracy that consumes more and more even as it restricts freedom. You can't talk about the dangers of government until you stop talking about the misdeeds of whichever party. Dealing only with Republicans or Democrats means you never look too closely at the system.

By design

Still, your first reaction to any criticism of Democrats is to attack Trump or Republicans.

You've never seen me "discuss" things like religion, sex, or crony capitalism with Republicans. Not to mention the occasional person who insists that their morality must displace all other choices.

My default is KYFHO. Keep Your F…ing Hands Off!

The fact is (and one of your major issues) that I assume that most people are perfectly capable of making their own choices. I don't think that government should be involved in most things. I don't think that government is first, best, and last solution. I do not trust in the wisdom of government.

Outside of sex and top-down morality, yes, that matches the mainstream "Republican" position. More accurately, the mainstream "Republican" position matches some of the classic liberal position. And yes, there is a vast difference between modern liberals and classic liberals. As I've said, my opinions on religion, sex and top-down morality (and what is dooming our culture) put me outside the Republican mainstream and squarely in with what might be called Democrat positions. Again, more accurately the Democrat positions match some of classic liberal position positions. And since classic liberals had those positions first, well, the Republicans and Democrats stole from their betters.

I could give you a hundred and thirteen things that Trump has done wrong. But I don't see Trump as significantly worse (or better) than his predecessors. At the end of the day (or term), we still have an ever expanding government that is destroying liberty. I don't think we should have a country whose liberty depends on the whims of those "in charge" this week.

Meanwhile Republicans and Democrats both want to expand government, only with their people in charge. The goal is not the government. The goal is not the system. The goal is liberty. Everything else is extra.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.


Practical philosophy

You know, in this day and age the term philosopher is disparaged. There are a bunch of academics debating the works of people long dead, trying to stretch writings and sayings to fit their own worldview. They argue over punctuation and the implication of what was not said in which edition. Most of the people called philosophers today are little better than research librarians. They don't think about the practical application, you see.
     — NeoWayland
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