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patriot45
05-12-2009, 11:50 AM
Wake up Wilbur et al. Whoo hoo does this get to the point or what!


Secularism and socialism (http://townhall.com/columnists/DennisPrager/2009/05/12/socialism_and_secularism_suck_vitality_out_of_soci ety?page=full&comments=true)



Outside of politics, sports, and popular entertainment, how many living Germans, or French, or Austrians, or even Brits can you name?

Even well-informed people who love art and literature and who follow developments in science and medicine would be hard pressed to come up with many, more often any, names. In terms of greatness in literature, art, music, the sciences, philosophy, and medical breakthroughs, Europe has virtually fallen off the radar screen.

This is particularly meaningful given how different the answer would have been had you asked anyone the same question between just 80 and 120 years ago -- and certainly before that. A plethora of world-renowned names would have flowed.

Obvious examples would include (in alphabetical order): Brecht, Buber, Cezanne, Chekhov, Curie, Debussy, Eiffel, Einstein, Freud, Hesse, Kafka, Mahler, Mann, Marconi, Pasteur, Porsche, Proust, Somerset Maugham, Strauss, Stravinsky, Tolstoy, Zeppelin, Zola.

Not to mention the European immortals who lived within the century before them: Mozart, Beethoven, Dostoevsky, Darwin, Kierkegaard, Manet, Monet, Hugo and Van Gogh, to name only a few.

What has happened?

What has happened is that Europe, with a few exceptions, has lost its creativity, intellectual excitement, industrial innovation, and risk taking. Europeís creative energy has been sapped. There are many lovely Europeans; but there arenít many creative, dynamic, or entrepreneurial ones.

The issues that preoccupy most Europeans are overwhelmingly material ones: How many hours per week will I have to work? How much annual vacation time will I have? How many social benefits can I preserve (or increase)? How can my country avoid fighting against anyone or for anyone?

Why has this happened?

There are two reasons: secularism and socialism (aka the welfare state).

Either one alone sucks much of the life out of society. Together they are likely to be lethal

Continued (http://townhall.com/columnists/DennisPrager/2009/05/12/socialism_and_secularism_suck_vitality_out_of_soci ety?page=2)

FlaGator
05-12-2009, 12:10 PM
Richard "I am delusional" Dawkins is from England :rolleyes:

Rockntractor
05-12-2009, 12:21 PM
A good but very depressing article.

patriot45
05-12-2009, 12:25 PM
Richard "I am delusional" Dawkins is from England :rolleyes:

Haha, he could be from mars, but what he says seems to make sense.

noonwitch
05-12-2009, 01:01 PM
I think it's more socialism than secularism that kills a society's creativity. Secularism as a philosophy of government is not a bad thing, especially in a nation like the US, which has such religious diversity. It keeps people of different faiths from trying to force everyone to practice their religion.

Socialism, on the other hand, doesn't give many incentives to create new products, art or ideas. If you are expected to come up with new ideas or products, with no promise of a reward, why bother? You're just going to stay at home and create things for your own use and benefit.


I know that people like to lump the two ideas together, probably because of the Marxist tradition of viewing religion as a negative influence on society, but you can have a secular goverment without socialism. We have had such in the US for a couple of centuries, now.

Of course, if you agree with Sean Hannity, we don't anymore. I'm sure someone here will respond to my post with words to the effect that Obama is a socialist who is going to change that tradition.

Rockntractor
05-12-2009, 01:07 PM
I think it's more socialism than secularism that kills a society's creativity. Secularism as a philosophy of government is not a bad thing, especially in a nation like the US, which has such religious diversity. It keeps people of different faiths from trying to force everyone to practice their religion.

Socialism, on the other hand, doesn't give many incentives to create new products, art or ideas. If you are expected to come up with new ideas or products, with no promise of a reward, why bother? You're just going to stay at home and create things for your own use and benefit.


I know that people like to lump the two ideas together, probably because of the Marxist tradition of viewing religion as a negative influence on society, but you can have a secular goverment without socialism. We have had such in the US for a couple of centuries, now.

Of course, if you agree with Sean Hannity, we don't anymore. I'm sure someone here will respond to my post with words to the effect that Obama is a socialist who is going to change that tradition.
I honestly believe Obama is a socialist. If his choice of freinds or his book or his current track record are any indication.

wilbur
05-12-2009, 01:15 PM
I'd have to take issue with his first assertion: "Outside of politics, sports, and popular entertainment, how many living Germans, or French, or Austrians, or even Brits can you name?... In terms of greatness in literature, art, music, the sciences, philosophy, and medical breakthroughs, Europe has virtually fallen off the radar screen."

How many Americans can name Americans outside pop-culture, sports or politics that are "great"?

If he hasnt found notable Europeans in the field of science or philosophy... as a journalist who has decided to comment on such matters with authority, it might have been to his favor to, you know... actually look, before he revealed his lazy minded ignorance with such untrue statements.

He will find there are many notable Europeans in scientific fields, doing amazing work. Last time I checked.. the most advanced scientific experiment ever devised by human beings isnt going to be done here, in the good 'ol USA.

Not to mention, the "greatness" many of his historical examples now enjoy came about after the fact, after history has played out and time has validated their ideas. Were you to talk to the contemporaries of many of those people, I would bet few would probably appreciate the importance of their work/ideas, at the time.

I've heard and listened to many a word from Prager... his legacy of ignorance carries on..


And hello... Stephen Hawking? BRITISH!

linda22003
05-12-2009, 02:06 PM
How many Americans can name Americans outside pop-culture, sports or politics that are "great"?



I was noticing all the composers on the list and wondering how many most people could name among today's serious music composers, American or otherwise. :rolleyes:

wilbur
05-12-2009, 02:09 PM
I was noticing all the composers on the list and wondering how many most people could name among today's serious music composers, American or otherwise. :rolleyes:

If you read the comments on the article, he's been pretty thoroughly thrashed... patriot45, you really should be a little more discerning in your information consumption ;)

patriot45
05-12-2009, 02:42 PM
If you read the comments on the article, he's been pretty thoroughly thrashed... patriot45, you really should be a little more discerning in your information consumption ;)

C'mon, the parts I liked weren't about dead guys I can't name!
This was my meat;



The state sucks out creativity and dynamism just as much as secularism does. Why do anything for yourself when the state will do it for you? Why take care of others when the state will do it for you? Why have ambition when the state is there to ensure that few or no individuals are rewarded more than others?

snip...

Which is why so many are so worried about President Barack Obama and the Democratic Partyís desire to transform -- in their apt wording -- America into a secular welfare state. The greatest engine of moral, religious, economic, scientific, and industrial dynamism is being starved of its fuel. The bigger the state, the smaller its people.

wilbur
05-12-2009, 03:24 PM
C'mon, the parts I liked weren't about dead guys I can't name!
This was my meat;

But that was the whole premise for his case.

If Europe is sucked dry of creativity and other intellectual achievements, his only proof was simply that he was ignorant of the people who have produced any of it. A quick google search, (or for some us, a second or two to dig through our memory banks), shows us that his "proof" is mistaken. Incontestably so.

Such acute ignorance is exemplary, even for pundits like himself. And yet, amazingly enough, even the severity of this ignorance is dwarfed by his apparent laziness to research. Words coming straight out his ass, to our ears... I feel dirty.

Since the rest of Draper's article is an attempt to assign blame for a problem that he failed to even establish as an actual problem... its all moot isnt it?

marinejcksn
05-12-2009, 03:41 PM
How many Americans can name Americans outside pop-culture, sports or politics that are "great"?

Audie Murphy
Marcus Littrell
Michael Monsoor
Michael Murphy
Matthew Axelson
Danny Dietz
Thomas Edison
The Wright Brothers
Henry Ford
Samuel Colt
Milton Friedman
Thomas Sowell

I can do this all day. :D

noonwitch
05-12-2009, 04:09 PM
Audie Murphy
Marcus Littrell
Michael Monsoor
Michael Murphy
Matthew Axelson
Danny Dietz
Thomas Edison
The Wright Brothers
Henry Ford
Samuel Colt
Milton Friedman
Thomas Sowell

I can do this all day. :D


Some diversity in the great americans topic:

George Washington Carver
Booker T. Washington
Harriet Tubman
Sojourner Truth
Any of the Tuskegee Airman
Madame CJ Walker
Dr. Ben Carson

Gingersnap
05-12-2009, 04:35 PM
I was noticing all the composers on the list and wondering how many most people could name among today's serious music composers, American or otherwise. :rolleyes:

Few to none and that's if you stretch your definition of "serious composer". Most really good serious music is now composed for movies. Much of the rest of it is so anti-human that is literally painful to listen to, let alone like. Then you have the composers like John Cage who just screw with the audience for some kind of twisted amusement.

linda22003
05-12-2009, 08:41 PM
Few to none and that's if you stretch your definition of "serious composer". Most really good serious music is now composed for movies. Much of the rest of it is so anti-human that is literally painful to listen to, let alone like. Then you have the composers like John Cage who just screw with the audience for some kind of twisted amusement.

What about John Adams? And I don't mean the second president. :)