The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
I'm not very far into it yet, but there's a lot of good quotes in there.
Yes, and you'll be seeing many of them right here over the next several days, I think.
I finished it two days after I bought it, which was maybe a week after it came out. I also went and saw him at American Univeristy, and he's a great speaker. Lively, funny, and really know his history. If you get a chance to see him you really should.
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I've been absolutely jammed up lately, which is why I haven't been able to respond on really important issues. Even so, I came across a quote last night which I think is worth sharing:
In other words, we should forget about the mind of an individual person like you, that tiny and insignificant part of a vast sociocultural system. The mind that counts is the one belonging to the group, which is capable of thinking, feeling, and acting on its own.
The doctrine of the super organism has had an impact on modern life that extends well beyond the writings of social scientists. It underlies the tendency to reify "society" as a moral agent that can be blamed for sins as if it were a person. It drives identity politics, in which civil rights and political perquisites are allocated to groups rather than to individuals. And as we shall see in later chapters, it defined some of the great divides between major political systems in the twentieth century.
from "the blank slate, The Modern Denial of Human Nature" by Steven Pinker, page 26.
(emphases in original)
What Ed? Some people view people as members of a group based first and foremost on their differences? Good thing I don't know anyone like that!
Oh wait, I'm going to the baseball game with him on Saturday night. Doh!
Personally, I think a non-literal interpretation of 1984 is far more useful. It's not a depiction of what a future authoritarian regime will be like, it's a metaphor for what individuals in modern democracies do to themselves in the name of partisan politics.
Take the republican party over the last 15 years. There is a central group of leaders who control 'conservatism' and conservatism is whatever they say it is right now. And what worse, it works. They can propose an idea that a few years ago would have been seen as profoundly un-conservative and their followers we become rabidly in favor of it. Inconvenient past history is covered up. People who point out the incongruity are denounced as the enemy and thrown out. We even have 'two minute hates' directed at libertarians who refuse to go along with the program.
Truly we've come to love Big Brother--and Big Brother is us.
Still, I think the key portion of the QotD isn't the reference to 1984 or Brave New World, it's this:
America's political system used to be about the pursuit of happiness. Now more and more of us want to stop chasing it and have it delivered.
And if that means taxing those that are still in pursuit, well, that's fair, right?
... and have someone else pay for it.
This was a fundamentally "masculine" nightmare of fascist brutality.
You know, that's very, very interesting.
The current fascism we're dealing with is in no way masculine.
"Big Brother" has been replaced by "Nancy Nanny".
I've been pondering how this ties in to some of the other themes that have been hashed, comparing the rise of "woman power" and it's increase in rules and regulations. I'd never thought of that.
That may also be why so many leftists, we'll pick on Mark, cause he's handy and a known value, protest so vehemently when they're called Fascists - to them it's a result of ignorant masculinity run amok, where they're caring and "feminine".
So how dare you compare the two?
This bears much more thinking.
Now you begin to understand why the next überpost is much delayed...
I dunno... I think that "compassionate control-ism" only lasts while it is expedient to do so at which point it is replaced by "boot to ass control-ism"...
The matrix-like structure that Huxley's book is rooted on presupposes a lot of control and "drive" on part of the "rulers", which if communism has taught us anything is only true for a short time... It is far easier to replace that control structure with a gun and the stooges willing to use 'em.