Rising To The Bait

There has been a lot of discussion on this site about Carroll Quigley’s proposition that there really is only one party and there is basically a conspiracy to control all of us through that mechanism. His writing about this very thing overshadows some really groundbreaking work on the evolution of societies and something that he called “inclusive diversity” – an explanation why America had succeeded in history where others have failed. I personally find Quigley’s propositions on “secret societies” a little too close to Marx’s proposition that the proletariat has no real values, they only adopt the values of the powerful but I do agree with his other scholarship – it is really sad that he is viewed as a conspiracy nut by so many because it leads to dismissal of some very valuable knowledge.

Don’t make that mistake – read his work even if you don’t buy into the “secret society” aspect. I can guarantee that you will learn something.

I posted a note about paranoia in the comments on one of Joe’s posts to see who would rise to take the bait. We tend to identify with things that we are most worried about and perceive general facts as direct personal attacks if we feel that particular thing is one of our weaknesses. I’ve done it – we all have. We don’t get defensive about our strengths because they are strengths – but we do tend to aggressively defend our flanks. I’ve learned that technique in interviewing people, I probe areas where I perceive weakness and their reactions tell me whether I am right or not.

We also tend to gravitate toward people, articles, books and blogs that confirm our bias. That is one major reason that I asked Chuck Edinger to join the fray – he tends to poke at the soft spots in all of us in a way that seems to elicit good responses from the group. I have been concerned for a while about the monolithic echo chamber that this place has become and its role in reinforcing a “reality” that I believe is false. I tested my theory during the NSA debate by deliberately posting things that I knew would test the “soft spots” and sure enough, my concerns were validated. When we have drifted so far to the right that I get accused of being an Obama supporter, we have lost the plot.

John Hinderaker at Powerline ran a poll last night about why, if we think conservatives are a majority, we can’t win elections and here’s what he found:

I don’t see “Rush Limbaugh is a progressive tool”, “You can’t trust Fox News”, “Carroll Quigley explains it all” or “Cloward-Piven” anywhere. When we get to the point that we start picking off Rush, Hannity and Fox because of some perceived slight or that they don’t pass a 100% purity test, our group is going to get pretty small, pretty fast.. That’s why I brought up the paranoia reference because that is exactly what they do…sooner or later, the paranoid’s peer group reduces to one…them.

I don’t say that to be mean or derisive, I say it because I see that we locking ourselves into a paranoia that can only be supported if Rush and people like him are actually “progressive” stooges.

I don’t believe that.

It appears to me that we rather than looking at objective facts, we have decided on a conclusion that we are comfortable with and then went out and constructed an explanation that supports it.

It is not bad or good, it just is. It is only bad if we don’t recognize it soon enough to actually hold our ideas up against reality and see where the gaps are.

I am concerned for the quality of debate here because I have been seeing a gradual paranoia set in over the last 12-18 months, almost a bunker mentality consisting of dismissiveness, arrogance and self-righteousness…and I count myself in that group. For the life of the blog, it has basically been the Joe and Utah show, interspersed with Kells, Texas, augger, Dusty and FC. I’m hoping that a few new voices can help challenge all of us to think with a little more rigor and open-mindedness.

My apologies to any that I have offended in this process.

17 thoughts on “Rising To The Bait

  1. “For the life of the blog, it has basically been the Joe and Utah show, interspersed with Kells, Texas, augger, Dusty and FC.”

    Well that’s just the thing Utah. Sometimes one has to take 1 step back, to get 2 steps forward. I cannot speak for the others, but I sincerely believe I have become so politically choleric that I almost want to argue with anyone on either side of the fence … just simply for the sake of the argument. I’ve plenty to say on topics such as Obamacare, but as I type them, I can see the jaded angle that leads to unreasonable abstract opine.

    Sometimes it’s just best to idle with a tall glass of Scotch. I’ll get there though, and I will post more when I am less pissed off. Promise. 🙂

    • Believe me, augs – I know exactly what you are talking about. Been there, done that, bought the tee shirt. I realized a while ago that our feelings were becoming the ethos of the blog. When I pointed out a while back that that Thomas Paine was against private ownership of land and Jefferson thought that a constitution should be rewritten every 19 years to illustrate that they weren’t exactly in 100% agreement about what to do, I was pilloried for it even though these are facts…and easily discovered facts written in their own words.

      I’m certainly no “moderate” when it comes to the Constitution and what it says but I also recognize that the Founders were men of ideas and that is a tradition we should not abandon.

  2. /Offended
    /Never coming back

    A little self-examination never hurt. It’s cool to see the boss looking to balance things out. I don’t think very many blog sites are looking to balance things out these days. Especially when it comes to the type of content discussed here.

  3. With my minimal intellectual capacity and accused reading comprehension challanged state of mind, perhaps I should step back and ask for clarification…..

    Are you now saying you DON’T agree with NSA collecting “Meta-data”…….you were just “soft-point” testing ?

    And Maybe it’s just me being “paranoid” ….but you DIDN’T capitalize Augger’s name in the above reference….Just sayin.

    • If you will look past reading my posts to confirm your bias, you will see that I have never agreed with the NSA programs…never.

      My defense of them – such as it is – was based on want the actual law says, not what you want it to be. Mark Steyn has a good post at NRO on that very thing today.

      The entire point is that we have to elect better representatives to pass better laws or even better – to pass none at all – because once passed, right or wrong, they are the law. What was being advocated during the NSA debate by some on this blog was nothing short of the same things that these same people commented against in the George Zimmerman trial aftermath. Trayvon Martin supporters were chastised for not accepting a legal verdict by people who advocated disobedience to the law in the NSA situation.

      Can’t have it both ways.

  4. There are some rather disturbing and most importantly dishonest undertones to the presentation of this post. Instead of addressing people and discussing directed points with Honest and open intent , it admits ( and assumes as legitimate ) two examples of dialogue intended to manipulate as well as generate reponses designed to “confirm your own Bias”.

    But the biggest dishonestly here I feel lies deeper …. a fear to confront a desire to control/change the oveerall Dialogue to one of your liking and choosing,……………….. A deep inability to allow co-existance with Difference of opinion.

    • Well, Don, I guess we are going to have to disagree on that. We have always had an open policy here on comments and posts – the bloggers know that they can write about anything they want in any way that they want. I’ve never edited a post except for maybe correcting spelling in a title. I’ve never taken down a post of an author. I did go through a period where I was really concerned about the accuracy of posts – but I decided to let the individual author worry about that. I have never deleted a comment other than from one person – and it took him accusing me of having sex with my own daughter and describing what he would do to her. I have banned melfamy from posting as an author because of his batshit crazy posts (but I didn’t delete any of them)…but he is still welcome to comment.

      I reserve the right to comment in any way that I feel appropriate and have done so. You can’t have missed the back and forth’s that Joe and I have had and you evidently missed the point of the post – I am looking for MORE diversity of opinion, not less.

      I would welcome you to point out where differences of opinion have not been tolerated.

  5. I have to concur with Utah, Don. He’s been more than amicable with allowing people to post/say pretty much whatever they wish … much further past the point than I would tolerate in reality.

    Disagree with him on any topic you wish, but this one point is one you should walk back.

    • Well Augger……..Unless one wants to have a Huffington Post site……allowing people to say what they wish distinguishes the media from the Print Press….IMO, as it should.

      The internet is the medium where things are Said/written past the point some would tolerate “in reality”.

      In other words it comes with the Territory ( if one embraces it ) … unless one wants to be like the HuffPo etc.

  6. Tey pllayed an old clip from 1975 featuring Ronald Regan last night on one of the stations that basically stated the same viewpoint that has been presented here lately. It was interesting and gave food for thought. I’m not able to locate that clip at the moment. It prefaced an interview with Mark Rubio. I believe it was on Hannity.

  7. My comments were directed at the post. And Clearly said that. Notice the word “Presentation”.

    My comment addressed methods and also refered to an underlying psychological motivation in the post above….since the original post itself referenced “paranoia”….a term with obvious and well-known clinical connotations. I have consistantly and repeatedly condemed the comments you mentioned by Malfamy myself.

    I re-read what I said , and I stand by it.

    And in my first comment I actually asked a specific question..

    • And I answered your question. I have never supported the NSA programs.

      You would have to have read past my condemnations to even be in doubt about that, proving to me that you had already decided to dismiss any argument that I was making out of hand because you had already come to a conclusion.

      …and I have trouble capitalizing “Augger”, it’s not meant as disrespect. For some reason my fingers have trouble with the caps key when followed with an “a” – may be due to a broken hand from high school football and the way my little finger healed.

      • Not capitalizing “Augger” was meant as a “Tongue-cheek-joke”….since you mentioned Consp. Thy.

        Using LOL all the time being the mark of laziness.

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