Category Archives: Philosophy

Mike Rowe: Everyone Is Essential, by John Stossel

You can’t turn life into a padded cell. From John Stossel at pjmedia.com:

AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

Politicians have too much power over our lives.

Many used the pandemic as another excuse to take more.

Early on, politicians declared that they would decide who was “essential.” Everyone else was told to stay home.

Much of the economy stopped. Millions were laid off.

Then politicians relaxed the rules for industries that they deemed “essential.”

“You can’t just call somebody essential without implicitly suggesting that half the workforce is not essential,” points out Mike Rowe, host of the surprise hit TV series, “Dirty Jobs.”

That’s a big problem, says Rowe, because people find purpose in work.

Now the Biden administration is eager to give money to people not working. It’s pushing a new stimulus package that would pay the unemployed an additional $400/week.

Since states like mine tack on as much as $500/week in unemployment benefits, many people learn that the $900/week. leaves them with more money if they don’t go back to work.

So, many don’t.

But staying home imposes costs, too. Calls to suicide hotlines are up. Domestic violence is up.

“It’s happening because people simply don’t feel valued,” says Rowe.

Politicians claim they save lives when they order businesses to close. When Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a lockdown, he said, “If everything we do saves just one life, I’ll be happy.”

Rowe mocks that in my new video this week.

“Let’s knock the speed limit down to 10 miles an hour… make cars out of rubber… make everybody wear a helmet,” he says. “Cars are a lot safer in the driveway… ships a lot safer when they don’t leave harbor, and people are safer when they sit quietly in their basements, but that’s not why cars, ships and people are on the planet.”

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The Collapse of The Enlightenment, by Paul Rosenberg

August Comte came up with a philosophical inversion that eventually short-circuited the Enlightenment. From Paul Rosenberg at freemansperspective.com:

We are watching the Enlightenment collapse before us in real time. I’ll be fairly brief in my explanation of why this is so and how it came about, but it strikes me as something we should understand.

Bear in mind that what remains of the Enlightenment is collapsing for structural reasons. I haven’t formed this discourse around political or academic theories, I’m basing it on facts and direct observations. Obviously I’m simplifying (one can’t write history any other way), but minus the inevitable exceptions and complications, this is what happened and what is happening.

How The Enlightenment Gained A Structure

The Enlightenment began with a collection of outsiders studying science. They had little backing and few credentials. In fact, the motto of the first group (that became The Royal Society) was Nullius in verba: “Take nobody’s word for it.” There was a lot to like in the early Enlightenment, and it led to a long string of crucial discoveries.

About halfway through its run, however, at about 1750 AD, the Enlightenment took a dark turn. Rather than working to discover what was right, it began to fixate on what was wrong. That is, the leading voices of the Enlightenment left off building and moved into tearing things down.

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The Principled Difference Could Make all the Difference, by Eric Peters

Eric Peters pinpoints Donald Trump’s biggest failing as a politician, and South Dakota governor Kristi Noem’s greatest strength. From Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

 

I listened to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s speech yesterday; such a contrast – such a tonic for the intellect – vs. the bloviating, belittling incoherence of the Orange Fail.

She elaborated principles, something the OF seems unable to do, probably because he hasn’t got any. I do not mean that as an insult. I mean it as characteristic of many Americans of the Republican persuasion especially, who do not consider particular things in abstract/conceptual terms; who “go with their gut” and “know what they mean.”

Which leaves their meaning as vaporous as a Scottish mist.

The OF failed for exactly this reason. He was defenseless against the principles of the Left. He could not fight the weaponization of hypochondria for the same reason he was unable to do anything fundamental to end – not “repeal and replace” – Obamacare.

In both cases, he was unable to articulate the principles at issue – and apply them.

In the case of Obamacare, the right of free people to decide for themselves whether to buy a health insurance policy or not – as opposed to being told they must not buy this “plan” or that “plan” . . . that is to say, some politician’s “plan.”

Like the Orang Man’s “plan.”

Instead of defending the right of human beings to freely associate – to decide for themselves whether to open or close their businesses (another principle, that of private property) and to decide for themselves whether to enter those businesses, or to wear a “mask” based on their own estimation of the risk and to be left in peace so long as they caused no actual harm to other people – all of it predicated on the principle of self-ownership and all that flows from it – the OF embraced the opposite principle – that the state owns the individual, who is part of a collective he must defer to.

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Socialism-in-Practice Was a Nightmare, Not Utopia, by Richard M. Ebeling

It’s not like the world hasn’t witnessed plenty of socialism’s horrific failures. From Richard M. Ebeling at aier.org:

It is amazing sometimes how really short humanity’s historical memory can be. Listening to some in American academia and on social media, you would think that socialism was a bright, new, and shiny idea never tried before that promises a beautiful future of peace, love, and bountifulness for all. It is as if a hundred years of socialism-in-practice in a large number of countries around the world had never happened. 

If the reality of actual socialism in the 20th century is brought up, many “progressives” and “democratic” socialists respond by insisting that none of these historical episodes were instances of “real” socialism. It was just that the wrong people had been in charge, or it had not been implemented in the right way, or political circumstances had prevented it from getting a “fair chance” of successfully working, or it is all lies or exaggerations about the supposed “bad” or harsh” experiences under these socialist regimes. You cannot blame socialism for there having been a Lenin, or a Stalin, or a Chairman Mao, or a Fidel Castro, or a Kim Il-Sung, or a Pol Pot, or a Hugo Chavez, or . . .  

Tyranny, terror, mass murder, and economic stagnation, along with political plunder and privilege for the few at the top of socialist government hierarchies were not indicative of what socialism could be. Just give it one more chance. And, then, another chance, and another. 

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Simple Consolations, by Ray Jason

Don’t wait until the end of your life to figure out what’s important. From Ray Jason at theburningplatform.com:

It was the silhouette hour. A cayuco came paddling towards me in the deep dusk as I sat with my back against AVENTURA’s mast. The oarsman’s stroke was smooth and strong. There was a child in the back tending the fishing line as her dad rowed.

When they were 20 yards away I realized that it was not a father – it was a grandmother. Even though she was as ancient and weathered as her hand-carved cayuco, she propelled it like a man in the prime of his life. It was a joy to behold.

I motioned them over towards my boat and hustled below for a packet of cookies to give to them. As they nudged up beside my hull, I was amazed by the peaceful dignity of the old woman. Her face was dark and deeply lined, but her eyes flashed like moonlight on the sea. At this close range I could now see the amazing resemblance between her and her grand-daughter.

As they rowed away I noticed the grandmother turn her head to make sure that the young girl was okay. I suspect that as she did so her mind flashed back to when she was that same age – sitting in the stern of a little cayuco admiring the power and grace of HER grandmother as she paddled them across a twilight lagoon.

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Disaster and Opportunity, by Jeff Thomas

I was a partner with a securities firm that was extraordinarily successful for most of its existence, perhaps because it got its start in 1932, the bottom of the Great Depression. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

The Mandarin word for “crisis” is weiqi. But weiqi is actually two words – the first, “wei,” meaning disaster and the second, “qi,” meaning opportunity.

For thousands of years, the Chinese people have understood that disaster and opportunity come in the same package. Whenever a period of dramatic change is unfolding, the Chinese people recognise that change, in addition to potentially bringing disaster, also presents opportunity.

To the western mind, crisis is a negative condition only, and as people wish to escape negativity as quickly as possible, westerners tend to support whatever leaders promise to make the problem go away quickly.

Of course, what this really leads to is a society in which those leaders who are the most trusted will be those who promise the easiest solution, regardless of how unrealistic it may be. So we have a culture of people who support the papering-over of problems.

The catch is that, whilst we can get away with papering-over as a temporary fix, when systemic problems have developed, papering-over only puts off the inevitable, as well as ensuring that, when the problem is finally addressed, it will be far greater.

For decades, westerners, particularly in the US, have voted for those candidates who promise “Hope and Change” and “Make America Great Again.”

Of course, these are paper-thin slogans that do not in any way bear scrutiny. In them, there is not even a suggestion of an actual plan.

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Cultural Deafness Defines the West, by Alastair Crooke

The West is not deaf because it cannot hear, but because it won’t listen. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

The élites come to believe their narrative – forgetting that it was conceived as an illusion created to capture the imagination within their society.

Pat Buchanan is absolutely right – that when it comes to insurrections, history depends on who writes the narrative. Usually that falls to the oligarchic class; (should they ultimately prevail.) Yet, I recall quite a few ‘terrorists’ who subsequently to were become widely-courted ‘statesmen’. So the wheel of passing time turns – and turns about, again.

Of course, fixing a narrative – an unchallengeable reality, that is perceived to be too secure, too highly invested to fail – does not mean it will not go unchallenged. There is an old British expression that well describes its’ colonial experience of (silent) challenge to its then dominant ‘narrative’ (both in Ireland and India inter alia). It was known as ‘dumb insolence’. That is, when the performance of individual acts of rebellion are both too costly personally and pointless, that the silent, sourly expression of dumb contempt for their ‘overlords’ says it all. It infuriated the British commanding class by its daily reminder of their legitimacy deficit. Gandhi took it to the heights. And it his narrative ultimately, that is the one better remembered in history.

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Staying Human, by Ray Jason

A sailor/philosopher pulls into Bikini Atoll, where they once detonated hydrogen bombs. From Ray Jason at theburningplatform.com:

A FICTIONAL MESSAGE FROM THE NEAR FUTURE

Is it possible that I can no longer laugh? I mean this literally. How long has it been since my last laugh? Certainly it has been years, but I cannot remember exactly how many.

What spurred this question was the little chuckle that I just experienced. It was prompted by the irony of my situation. Here I am, profoundly alone, striving to achieve one simple goal – to remain fully HUMAN.

In order to achieve this, I sailed to a place where no one would dare follow. My quest to survive as a free … biological … non-augmented … human being has taken me to Bikini Atoll. It is the remote location where they tested the hydrogen bombs – the most powerful weapons ever designed to kill humans.

Choosing this as my refuge, is a level of irony that even the most skilled cosmic trickster would admire. In order to stay human, I am secluded where weapons were tested that could erase humanity from Planet Earth.

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Biden’s Presidency Will Be A Catalyst For Secession – And Perhaps Civil War, by Brandon Smith

Let’s hope the prediction in the title is borne out. From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:

Over the past few months I have written a handful of articles which discussed what would probably happen if Joe Biden actually entered the White House and launched his administration. My initial belief was that Trump would refuse to concede and that this would be a trigger for national chaos blamed on conservatives, but I have also noted that Biden’s entry is almost just as disruptive, as it sends a signal to the political left that it is “open season” on anyone that disagrees with their ideology.

Of course, conservatives are not going to simply sit still and be purged and abused, they are going to strike back, and this sets the stage for a number of events and outcomes, some of which are completely unpredictable, even for establishment globalists.

First, though, we need to address how Biden and the globalists are going to create chaos so that they can then demand their own brand of “order”.

In my article ‘A Biden Presidency Will Mean A Faster US Collapse’, published in October, I outlined why the ongoing economic crisis will accelerate in the wake of a Biden takeover. More specifically, I predicted that Biden would implement a federal covid lockdown, probably within the first year of his presidency, similar to the Level 4 lockdowns implemented in Europe and Australia. Biden may lure Americans into complacency with promises of “relief” and less restrictions in his first couple months, but he will then use the rather convenient news of “covid mutations” to bring in even harsher mandates.

The Masks Are Coming Off, by Rob Slane

Nobody is even trying to hide the accelerating descent into totalitarianism anymore. From Rob Slane at theblogmire.com:

I had intended to start the New Year with a heart-warming piece entitled, “2021: The Year of Censorship of Dissent”. It would have been a somewhat prophetical piece, shocking some readers with predictions of a coming crackdown on dissent, and causing others to hoot with laughter because they haven’t quite caught up with the times we are in. You know, the types who say things like “Oh perrrlease! Social Media companies are private companies and they have the right to decide who they allow on their platform” and “Stop making out it’s the gulag” etc.

Unfortunately, my plans were scuppered by the fact that media and social media companies — let’s call them Global Pravda — have come out of the blocks even earlier than even I anticipated, and have been censoring left right and centre. As a result, my intended “prophetical” utterance seems like yesterday’s news.

We’ve had the censoring of Talk Radio on YouTube. Although this was then restored after intervention at the highest level, I understand some of the wonderful conversations between Mike Graham and Peter Hitchens are still banned. YouTube have also banned videos from extremely qualified scientists around the world, including two lengthy interviews given in English by one of the most qualified microbiologists on planet earth, Professor Sucharit Bhakdi.

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