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Arroyo_Doble
09-16-2010, 04:36 PM
Jefferson and Washington, while visionary for their time, were also slave owners so I will take their concepts of liberty and place it in the context of their time as well.

Deal?

Sonnabend
09-16-2010, 04:46 PM
Aren't you the same guy who wants people banned for posting points of view you don't like?

No. And I defy you to prove otherwise.


Aka, no political writings I disagree with in the libraries. Only freedom books about liberty.

It must HURT to be this stupid. Reasonable limits with censorship = kiddie porn and other vile filth of the same ilk.

Gingersnap
09-16-2010, 04:46 PM
Jefferson and Washington, while visionary for their time, were also slave owners so I will take their concepts of liberty and place it in the context of their time as well.

Deal?

No. People in various eras, including our own, have held to ideas or cultural legacies in one part of their lives while simultaneously developing and supporting ideas that are unbound to cultural or period limitations. A good idea is a good idea and the best ideas appeal across time and history.

Molon Labe
09-16-2010, 04:53 PM
Jefferson and Washington, while visionary for their time, were also slave owners so I will take their concepts of liberty and place it in the context of their time as well.

Deal?

:rolleyes:

um...ya....but much better than Rousseau, Marx or our current brand of intellectuals concepts.

Arroyo_Doble
09-16-2010, 05:02 PM
No. People in various eras, including our own, have held to ideas or cultural legacies in one part of their lives while simultaneously developing and supporting ideas that are unbound to cultural or period limitations. A good idea is a good idea and the best ideas appeal across time and history.

Then we get to pick and choose what we believe their ideals represent as opposed to what they actually meant?

Convenient.

Gingersnap
09-16-2010, 05:31 PM
Then we get to pick and choose what we believe their ideals represent as opposed to what they actually meant?

Convenient.

In this case, he told us what he actually meant. We are not discussing a 3,000 years dead quasi-mythical figure from history. We don't have to rely on secondary or tertiary sources, we have no language barrier, the historical record is complete, the author's words haven't been redacted by conquerors or fanatics, and the cultural context has not been interrupted by war, oppression, disasters, or time. He was a fairly clear and concise writer for the time so I don't see what your own difficulty is in determining his positions on government or liberty.

You may disagree with those positions but I don't see how you could claim they are duplicitous or enigmatic.

Arroyo_Doble
09-16-2010, 05:36 PM
In this case, he told us what he actually meant. We are not discussing a 3,000 years dead quasi-mythical figure from history. We don't have to rely on secondary or tertiary sources, we have no language barrier, the historical record is complete, the author's words haven't been redacted by conquerors or fanatics, and the cultural context has not been interrupted by war, oppression, disasters, or time. He was a fairly clear and concise writer for the time so I don't see what your own difficulty is in determining his positions on government or liberty.

You may disagree with those positions but I don't see how you could claim they are duplicitous or enigmatic.

The slavery thing make them so (and other issues as well ... we will probably hit those if you don't get bored). You just want to sweep that under the rug. You want to take the naked language and place it in a modern world and tell us what they meant is crystal clear. I disagree. They are not crystal clear and you are simply trying to find some Founder imprimatur for your wholly contemporary philosophy on government and liberty.

Wei Wu Wei
09-16-2010, 05:47 PM
No. People in various eras, including our own, have held to ideas or cultural legacies in one part of their lives while simultaneously developing and supporting ideas that are unbound to cultural or period limitations. A good idea is a good idea and the best ideas appeal across time and history.

So why doesn't that idea appeal to the time period in which it was formulated?

Gingersnap
09-16-2010, 05:49 PM
So why doesn't that idea appeal to the time period in which it was formulated?

Pretty obviously it did.

Wei Wu Wei
09-16-2010, 05:52 PM
The slavery thing make them so (and other issues as well ... we will probably hit those if you don't get bored). You just want to sweep that under the rug. You want to take the naked language and place it in a modern world and tell us what they meant is crystal clear. I disagree. They are not crystal clear and you are simply trying to find some Founder imprimatur for your wholly contemporary philosophy on government and liberty.

This a thousand times.

this is all we ever get with Founding Father Worship along with literalism and original-ism. naked quotes brought into a different area with a different reality to justify a contemporary (and some might argue manufactured by neoconservatives) governmebt philosophy.

the slavery issue is one glaring issue, but with changes of technology, population size, information, cultural changes, and the development of the est of the world, we get innumeral problems.


This is the exact same behavior we get from people who believe the Bible is a history book / science text book and refuse to acknowledge the vastly different social, philosophical, cultural, economic, scientific, and politicalin which it was written, which leads to the most vapid childish opinions.

BadCat
09-16-2010, 05:56 PM
This a thousand times.

this is all we ever get with Founding Father Worship along with literalism and original-ism. naked quotes brought into a different area with a different reality to justify a contemporary (and some might argue manufactured by neoconservatives) governmebt philosophy.

the slavery issue is one glaring issue, but with changes of technology, population size, information, cultural changes, and the development of the est of the world, we get innumeral problems.


This is the exact same behavior we get from people who believe the Bible is a history book / science text book and refuse to acknowledge the vastly different social, philosophical, cultural, economic, scientific, and politicalin which it was written, which leads to the most vapid childish opinions.

I'm getting very tired of you.

hampshirebrit
09-16-2010, 06:08 PM
I'm getting very tired of you.

LOL :D So am I.

WeeWee, and I'm speaking to you as an atheist, you have got to do a hell of a lot better than that last sentence of yours if you want to survive around here. You're not that good at polemics lately.

Buck up, buddy.

BadCat
09-16-2010, 06:11 PM
LOL :D So am I.

WeeWee, and I'm speaking to you as an atheist, you have got to do a hell of a lot better than that last sentence of yours if you want to survive around here. You're not that good at polemics lately.

Buck up, buddy.

Well hamps, you know he thinks all Conservatives are bible banging Baptists, and we all secretly wish we owned slaves.

hampshirebrit
09-16-2010, 06:23 PM
Well hamps, you know he thinks all Conservatives are bible banging Baptists, and we all secretly wish we owned slaves.

Heh. I'm no bible banger, but a slave or two right now would be really handy. I could do with the garden being cleared, and having one to fix the central locking ECU on the Porker would be great as well...I'm quite happy to pay for the parts, it's the labor that's the killer.

Come on, WeeWee. Don't be a big gay baby. Fight, man, ffs.

Odysseus
09-16-2010, 06:47 PM
Jefferson and Washington, while visionary for their time, were also slave owners so I will take their concepts of liberty and place it in the context of their time as well.

Deal?
No. Slavery has existed in every human society since the beginnings of recorded history. It was the ideals articulated by the founders that laid the ground for the abolition of slavery in America, even if it was still practiced in their lifetimes. Judging them in the context of a post-Civil War, post Civil Rights movement era is as unfair as judging you by 18th century standards of martial prowess and courage.

This a thousand times.

this is all we ever get with Founding Father Worship along with literalism and original-ism. naked quotes brought into a different area with a different reality to justify a contemporary (and some might argue manufactured by neoconservatives) governmebt philosophy.

the slavery issue is one glaring issue, but with changes of technology, population size, information, cultural changes, and the development of the est of the world, we get innumeral problems.

This is the exact same behavior we get from people who believe the Bible is a history book / science text book and refuse to acknowledge the vastly different social, philosophical, cultural, economic, scientific, and politicalin which it was written, which leads to the most vapid childish opinions.
So, you no longer have any interest in learning about Libertarian philosophy? That didn't last long.

Gingersnap
09-16-2010, 07:32 PM
This is now worthy of its own discussion since the current topic no longer addresses the OP's original questions about Libertarian political philosophy.

Now we are discussing whether or not ideas developed by people living lives of "immorality" as defined by current moral standards (within the West) have any worth.

Jfor
09-16-2010, 08:27 PM
Ah... so the resident leftists are proving they don't like the Constitution.

Phillygirl
09-16-2010, 09:29 PM
AD...when WW is agreeing with you "a thousand times", it's time to rethink your view.

FlaGator
09-16-2010, 09:36 PM
Aren't you the same guy who wants people banned for posting points of view you don't like? No. And I defy you to prove otherwise.



http://www.conservativeunderground.com/forum505/showthread.php?t=30112

There are plenty more if you want me to use the search feature.

Odysseus
09-16-2010, 09:45 PM
Ah... so the resident leftists are proving they don't like the Constitution.

Every time they get the opportunity. :D

Gingersnap
09-16-2010, 09:59 PM
Let's get back to this topic: are ideas developed or supported by individuals who could not subscribe to our current moral framework be worthy of discussion, emulation, or support?

If not, then how can we reconcile our intellectual dependence on Western notions of individuality, fair play, and equality? None of these concepts were developed or supported by individuals who extended these concepts to all other people at the time in which they lived.

warpig
09-16-2010, 10:17 PM
Let's get back to this topic: are ideas developed or supported by individuals who could not subscribe to our current moral framework be worthy of discussion, emulation, or support?

If not, then how can we reconcile our intellectual dependence on Western notions of individuality, fair play, and equality? None of these concepts were developed or supported by individuals who extended these concepts to all other people at the time in which they lived.

I think they are. Many of our Founding Fathers wanted to end slavery, but were unable to bring themselves to do so. Many felt that to do so would alienate the southern states that they needed to form the union, therefore they could not or would not breach that subject. And let's remember not everyone owned slaves, but 400,000 Americans lost their lives later to bring forth a final decision on that subject.

Gingersnap
09-16-2010, 10:46 PM
I think they are. Many of our Founding Fathers wanted to end slavery, but were unable to bring themselves to do so. Many felt that to do so would alienate the southern states that they needed to form the union, therefore they could not or would not breach that subject. And let's remember not everyone owned slaves, but 400,000 Americans lost their lives later to bring forth a final decision on that subject.

The Founders were rightly perplexed by the vote. They were not initially interested in extending it to people without property and obviously, not to women. They had some valid reasons for those positions at that time. Does that mean that their notion of a Republic was flawed?

I don't think so.

m00
09-16-2010, 11:06 PM
Jefferson and Washington, while visionary for their time, were also slave owners so I will take their concepts of liberty and place it in the context of their time as well.

Deal?

I don't know about Washington, but Jefferson recanted in his later years his earlier positions about blacks not being "ready" for freedom.

NJCardFan
09-16-2010, 11:49 PM
Jefferson and Washington, while visionary for their time, were also slave owners so I will take their concepts of liberty and place it in the context of their time as well.

Deal?

Of course at the time slavery was legal. However, with the writing of the Constitution, the wheels were put in motion for the eventual abolition of slavery. By declaring that slaves counted as 3/5 instead of a whole person, this prevented the South from gaining majorities in congress. Because it would take too long to explain, I'll try to Cliff Notes it. The southern delegates wanted slaves counted as property albeit human property hence should be counted in the census to configure the amount of congressmen a state can have. The northern delegates said that if they wanted to count slaves, they'd have to be freed and allowed to vote. If not, since the south wants property to count, the north said they wanted their property counted as well. You know, livestock, furniture, etc. Of course the south went nuts. So, the south certainly weren't going to free their slaves and allow them to vote(or hold office although some did), and the north certainly wasn't going to allow the south to have that kind of a majority so a compromise. Even Frederick Douglass said how he liked the 3/5 idea after he learned why it was done.

Also, Jefferson tried to free his slaves but because of the laws of the time, he could not(again, would take much too long to explain, just google it. Wiki gives a nice explanation). If you don't think this weighed on his conscience then you don't know Jefferson. It's easy to sit back, 200+ years later, and criticize but things were different than and we should be thankful that Jefferson set the wheels in motion that eventually led to the abolition of slavery. Too bad the Southern Democrats kept it from happening sooner than it should.

NJCardFan
09-16-2010, 11:53 PM
Let's get back to this topic: are ideas developed or supported by individuals who could not subscribe to our current moral framework be worthy of discussion, emulation, or support?

If not, then how can we reconcile our intellectual dependence on Western notions of individuality, fair play, and equality? None of these concepts were developed or supported by individuals who extended these concepts to all other people at the time in which they lived.

A prime example is the current President and his family. While Obama preached sacrifices in order to straighten out the economy, he and his family have taken some pretty extravagant vacations. Spain, Martha's Vinyard, where he and his wife ate lobster pretty much every night.

Sonnabend
09-17-2010, 04:30 AM
FlaGator is defending SHITANICUS?

Okay someone call the Pope, the end days are here :rolleyes:

3/4 of this fucking BOARD along with the mods and admins were debating banning his ass. So what?

malloc
09-17-2010, 06:18 AM
Jefferson and Washington, while visionary for their time, were also slave owners so I will take their concepts of liberty and place it in the context of their time as well.

Deal?

My argument counter to your assumption is that Jefferson and Washington's vision of liberty is both a timeless progression of human values, and a product of anthropological evolution among humans.

Your biggest pitfall comes about by comparing Jefferson and Washington to modern day western culture, wherein owning slaves is a sin one's soul could not recover from. Your mental dishonesty springs from comparing Jefferson & Washington to modern culture, and refusing to compare their ideal of liberty to the cultures that bore their rearing, or cultures which existed before they did. It's pretty damn easy to claim moral superiority in 2010, while confronting a society which existed in 1800. To the culture that gave birth to Jefferson and Washington, these guys were radical misfits! These guys were untouchable in British politics, and at best lunatic!

What you are failing to grasp is that all of society is a function over time. Both Jefferson and Washington were anti-slavery advocates, they just had to be careful how they voiced their opinions lest they end up like Aristotle.




Privately, however, Washington could -- and did -- lead by example. In his will, he arranged for all of the slaves he owned to be freed after the death of his wife, Martha. He also left instructions for the continued care and education of some of his former slaves, support and training for all of the children until they came of age, and continuing support for the elderly.


This isn't exactly freeing slaves, I know. However, you are looking at history as if it were a movie playing through present times. History is a procession of people and events which lived in their own time, and cares not for your values or scrutiny. The revolution of the Americas was as much anti-slavery as it was anti-crown. Stop looking at the revolution from the aspect of modern times going back, and start looking at it from the aspect of pre-revolution times going forward.

When you look at it as a progression of 1700 moving forward into 1760, what you see is the fist instance of of a human species asserting through force of collective will that this section of people believes in the ideology of self-ownership, and self-reliance.

You can ridicule our founders from now until Sunday. What you have to be is smart enough to differentiate between a comparison to modern society, and the society that came before them. Our Founders like Washington and Jefferson didn't live today. Comparing their lives to modern society is intellectually dishonest at best, and manipulative at worst. If you want to make a comparison, offer a control group. Fucking noob.

Molon Labe
09-17-2010, 08:49 AM
Then we get to pick and choose what we believe their ideals represent as opposed to what they actually meant?

Convenient.

People do that today with modern day politicians all the time. See Obama and Bush.

What's your point?

Arroyo_Doble
09-17-2010, 10:05 AM
AD...when WW is agreeing with you "a thousand times", it's time to rethink your view.

He is probably just shocked that there is an actual discussion as opposed to people just trying to out douchebag each other.

But I get your point.

Arroyo_Doble
09-17-2010, 10:18 AM
Your mental dishonesty springs from comparing Jefferson & Washington to modern culture, and refusing to compare their ideal of liberty to the cultures that bore their rearing, or cultures which existed before they did.

I am not the one using their words as an argument against modern political philosophy. Those that take Jefferson's and Washington's words and place them in the modern context are the ones you should be taking exception with.

I agree that we can use their writings, beliefs, and well known thoughts on issues of liberty and governing and try to determine how they fit in a mature, post-industrial (way past post-agrarian) secular democracy but to throw them out as a counter argument to modern beliefs regarding government and liberty is to invite scrutiny of exactly what their ideals were and how they applied them in their lives.

Molon Labe
09-17-2010, 10:20 AM
You can ridicule our founders from now until Sunday. What you have to be is smart enough to differentiate between a comparison to modern society, and the society that came before them. Our Founders like Washington and Jefferson didn't live today. Comparing their lives to modern society is intellectually dishonest at best, and manipulative at worst. If you want to make a comparison, offer a control group. Fucking noob.

No kidding. I'm reminded of Newton's quote.


If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulder of giants

Blatant arrogance to assume that, without the benefit of hindsight and 1000 years of liberty philosophy being honed to what it today, someone actually knows that they would be the bastion of human rights in another era.

Wei Wu Wei
09-17-2010, 11:55 AM
Pretty obviously it did.

Except that the puire languagemeant freedom for all and it's pretty obvious there was not equality of freedom at the start of the nation0

Wei Wu Wei
09-17-2010, 11:59 AM
LOL :D So am I.

WeeWee, and I'm speaking to you as an atheist, you have got to do a hell of a lot better than that last sentence of yours if you want to survive around here. You're not that good at polemics lately.

Buck up, buddy.

I realize not everyone here is a bible-thumper, that's why I used to example. For most people, even Christians, the Bible is a large historical work with many timeless truths that was written in and in regards to a socio-ecomic political/philosophic tradition that doesn't exist anymore.

Anyone who tries to take quotes from it, strip it of it's context and remove it from the people who wrote it and who it initially affected is being disingenous. All you end up with is a bunch of really nice quotes and tidbits of facts and then people raise these quotes as if they are the Gospel themselves.

This same thing happens with politics. PEople look at the founding fathers ina religious sense and look at their writings as Gospel, and take away the vastly different world, viewpoints, and reality that existed at the time anxd embrace a cookie-cutter ideology.

That doesn't mean anything from that time is worthless, but if you're oging to say a man was a pioneer of freedom that we should admire today, it's going to hurt your argument if he had slaves,

Wei Wu Wei
09-17-2010, 12:02 PM
I could list dozens of examples of this, another is the right's obsession with Martin Luther King Jr, who everyone agrees was a righteous advocate of freedom and justice.

Conservatives (like beck) crawl all over King's message, driving it into the ground, while ignoring the fact that he placed a large part of the blame on the natural workings of capital and insisted on pro-socialist policies.

However, thanks to the history revisionists, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr is now just a guy who had a dream about every white man having a black friend then he was shot.

FlaGator
09-17-2010, 12:03 PM
FlaGator is defending SHITANICUS?

Okay someone call the Pope, the end days are here :rolleyes:

3/4 of this fucking BOARD along with the mods and admins were debating banning his ass. So what?

Who said I was defending Satanicus? Do you just enjoying making up this BS?

The fact that whether any body was debating banning him is irrelevent. I stated that you have wanted others banned because you didn't agree with them. You replied with "No. And I defy you to prove otherwise." I have presented such proof. Instead of saying "ok... you got me, I made a mistake" and let it go, you have to redefine your statement to make it look like you were just going a long with the crowd... which still does not negate your statement asking me to prove otherwise.

Also, your little exercise in subtrafuge is beneath your intellect. In stating in the form of a rhetorical question that I was defending Satanicus is a lame attempt to draw attention away from you initial mistake.

CaughtintheMiddle1990
09-17-2010, 12:04 PM
I realize not everyone here is a bible-thumper, that's why I used to example. For most people, even Christians, the Bible is a large historical work with many timeless truths that was written in and in regards to a socio-ecomic political/philosophic tradition that doesn't exist anymore.

Anyone who tries to take quotes from it, strip it of it's context and remove it from the people who wrote it and who it initially affected is being disingenous. All you end up with is a bunch of really nice quotes and tidbits of facts and then people raise these quotes as if they are the Gospel themselves.

This same thing happens with politics. PEople look at the founding fathers ina religious sense and look at their writings as Gospel, and take away the vastly different world, viewpoints, and reality that existed at the time anxd embrace a cookie-cutter ideology.

That doesn't mean anything from that time is worthless, but if you're oging to say a man was a pioneer of freedom that we should admire today, it's going to hurt your argument if he had slaves,

You're assuming yet again by saying most people consider the Bible a large history work. For most it's a work of religion, philosophy, ways to live. I'd say most people view the Bible as a holy book and not some history textbook.

FlaGator
09-17-2010, 12:19 PM
You're assuming yet again by saying most people consider the Bible a large history work. For most it's a work of religion, philosophy, ways to live. I'd say most people view the Bible as a holy book and not some history textbook.

I would say that you are wrong. Most Christians consider it all of those things, including a historical book. The more archaelogists dig the more they validate the historical accuracy of the Bible. Luke the author of both the Gospel of Luke and Acts has been called by secular historians one of the finest historians ever.

JB
09-17-2010, 12:45 PM
Ah... so the resident leftists are proving they don't like the Constitution.The underlying theme of every lib post in this thread is "how can we ditch the constitution or at least make it irrelevant?"

KhrushchevsShoe
09-17-2010, 02:17 PM
You read stuff written at the founding the same way you would read Plato, Machiavelli or Augustine. Interesting snapshots of a given time period and, more importantly, a way to track the progression of political thinking. If you're really forming your political opinions on something written in the 1700's you're just doing it wrong.

JB
09-17-2010, 02:44 PM
If you're really forming your political opinions on something written in the 1700's you're just doing it wrong.So the governing documents of our Republic are just...wrong?

Odysseus
09-17-2010, 02:59 PM
You read stuff written at the founding the same way you would read Plato, Machiavelli or Augustine. Interesting snapshots of a given time period and, more importantly, a way to track the progression of political thinking. If you're really forming your political opinions on something written in the 1700's you're just doing it wrong.

And you're sure that you're doing it right? What arrogance...

What makes you think that you are any different from your great-great-grandfather? If history teaches anything, it's that history doesn't teach us anything, because people don't change. We are driven by the same passions, hates, loves and fears as our ancestors, and the more complex our culture becomes, the more we revert to the emotional state of our forebears.

The bread and circuses of Caligula's Rome foretell what we can expect of our own entertainment-saturated age. Tacitus' description of the craven Roman senate during the reign of Nero gave me insights into the conduct of today's congress. When the Somalis dragged the body of an American pilot through the streets of Mogadishu, I recalled Homer's description of Achilles dragging the body of Hector around the walls of Troy. Is Obama any less sure of his own divinity than Xerxes or Darius? The rage of Achilles, the cowardice of the Roman Senate, the boredom of the mob and the hubris of God-kings are no different from the rage of primitive tribes in the old world, the corruption of politicians, the jaded ennui of today's TV audience and the arrogance of our leaders. Man does not change, and the truths that were self-evident in 1776 are just as self-evident today.

If you look at a Constitution written in 1787 and fail to appreciate its relevance today, then it is you who are doing it wrong.

Wei Wu Wei
09-17-2010, 03:31 PM
So the governing documents of our Republic are just...wrong?

The point is that very intelligent people (more intelligent than you) wrote these documents centuries ago. Then, many many more intelligent people (more than you or I) over the decades have re-examined these writings, commenting, adjusting, critiquing, responding.



Trying to just isolate some text from the 1700's and ignore all of the history that preceded it, the social/political/philosophical context that surrounded it, and all of the analysis that followed it is just plain stupid.


It's like creationists who try to argue against The Origin of Species even though contemporary evolution has built off of thousands of papers written in response to and after Darwin had died.,

Wei Wu Wei
09-17-2010, 03:34 PM
And you're sure that you're doing it right? What arrogance...

What makes you think that you are any different from your great-great-grandfather? If history teaches anything, it's that history doesn't teach us anything, because people don't change.

Change is all there is. History is one enormous organic change. The history of our entire physical universe as well as all of our symbolic and cultural structures All change. From the beginning of time and forever onward. Nothing is stable, nothing is absolute, nothing is unchanging. Deal with it.


We are driven by the same passions, hates, loves and fears as our ancestors, and the more complex our culture becomes, the more we revert to the emotional state of our forebears.

Regression is one of many responses. Not the only one,

hampshirebrit
09-17-2010, 06:20 PM
...

....
....et seq

Gentlemen, to the dome with this, if you will.

For one, this is an interesting thread in its own right, and it should not be diverted.

For another, your little dispute has the potential to become a first-rate TD slug-fest, and it's far too long since we've had a good one of those. :D

Have at it, chaps. Just not in this thread.

MrsSmith
09-17-2010, 08:04 PM
Jefferson and Washington, while visionary for their time, were also slave owners so I will take their concepts of liberty and place it in the context of their time as well.

Deal?
Similar to future treatment of a political philosopher that championed human rights while supporting abortion...even though some of the ideas were correct, the support for the slaughter of unborn humans would make them less worthy. Yes?

m00
09-18-2010, 09:31 AM
You read stuff written at the founding the same way you would read Plato, Machiavelli or Augustine. Interesting snapshots of a given time period and, more importantly, a way to track the progression of political thinking. If you're really forming your political opinions on something written in the 1700's you're just doing it wrong.

I think this is the attitude that leads to the erosion of liberties. Nobody here is claiming that Washington and Jefferson lead perfect lives. But I do think that their framework for government is the closest I've seen to permitting me to live my life in (what I consider) a perfect manner - with freedom, liberty, and minimal government interference.

If one does not base their political opinions on the writings of past statesmen, then one is basing them on the populist rhetoric of the day. I don't see how this is inherently any better. Obviously, in 1776, Jefferson and Washington were spouting populist rhetoric. This isn't lost on me. However, it's 1) populist rhetoric I agree in - I value my liberty 2) I think those guys where a hell of a lot smarter, and had far more noble intentions, than any politician we've had in the last 50 years at least

NJCardFan
09-18-2010, 11:45 AM
It's nice to see most people blowing off the fact that the Constitutional Convention put in motion the eventual freeing of the slaves.

MrsSmith
09-18-2010, 12:05 PM
I think this is the attitude that leads to the erosion of liberties. Nobody here is claiming that Washington and Jefferson lead perfect lives. But I do think that their framework for government is the closest I've seen to permitting me to live my life in (what I consider) a perfect manner - with freedom, liberty, and minimal government interference.

If one does not base their political opinions on the writings of past statesmen, then one is basing them on the populist rhetoric of the day. I don't see how this is inherently any better. Obviously, in 1776, Jefferson and Washington were spouting populist rhetoric. This isn't lost on me. However, it's 1) populist rhetoric I agree in - I value my liberty 2) I think those guys where a hell of a lot smarter, and had far more noble intentions, than any politician we've had in the last 50 years at leastThey could not only read at a higher-than-8th-grade level, they actually wrote at the college level...even in personal letters. :D

Lager
09-18-2010, 05:14 PM
If you're really forming your political opinions on something written in the 1700's you're just doing it wrong.

The music of Mozart, Bach and Beethoven still stands out today because it's recognized as some of the best ever composed, regardless of the age. Same with the writing of Shakespeare or the works of Michelangelo.

I'm enjoying the obvious egotism of modern left wing thought on display in this thread. This insistance that there are no absolutes in ideas or philosophies and that everything is relative. There are levels of greatness that are sometimes reached and are collectively recognized by mankind. But in the contemporary thinking of our lib friends, it's not right to elevate any one thing above another. That might lead to offending someone or hurting feelings. So if you want to create different principles of government out of every different drug induced revelation you have, go for it. We'll give you a gold star just for the effort. Give me convienence or give me death.

Lager
09-18-2010, 05:17 PM
Change is all there is. History is one enormous organic change. The history of our entire physical universe as well as all of our symbolic and cultural structures All change. From the beginning of time and forever onward. Nothing is stable, nothing is absolute, nothing is unchanging. Deal with it.



Regression is one of many responses. Not the only one,

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose

Molon Labe
09-18-2010, 05:25 PM
Change is all there is. History is one enormous organic change. The history of our entire physical universe as well as all of our symbolic and cultural structures All change. From the beginning of time and forever onward. Nothing is stable, nothing is absolute, nothing is unchanging. Deal with it.

Regression is one of many responses. Not the only one,


Actually, there is nothing new under the sun. Technology is the only thing that changes, not the human spirit or experience. And all technology does is complicate the issues.

Odysseus
09-18-2010, 08:47 PM
The point is that very intelligent people (more intelligent than you) wrote these documents centuries ago. Then, many many more intelligent people (more than you or I) over the decades have re-examined these writings, commenting, adjusting, critiquing, responding.

Trying to just isolate some text from the 1700's and ignore all of the history that preceded it, the social/political/philosophical context that surrounded it, and all of the analysis that followed it is just plain stupid.

It's like creationists who try to argue against The Origin of Species even though contemporary evolution has built off of thousands of papers written in response to and after Darwin had died.,
You have created a straw man argument. No one is saying that we should ignore all of the history that came before or after the founding. What we are saying is that the laws of the nation only make sense in the context of the founding. By arguing against going back to Washington, Jefferson and the rest of the founders, you are ignoring the social/political/philosophical context of the present day in order to justify your immediate political wants.

Change is all there is. History is one enormous organic change. The history of our entire physical universe as well as all of our symbolic and cultural structures All change. From the beginning of time and forever onward. Nothing is stable, nothing is absolute, nothing is unchanging. Deal with it.
You've got it exactly backwards. History is a series of repeated changes. Republics are formed. They grow and prosper. Prosperity breeds indolence, decadence and weakness. One segment of the population learns to vote itself benefits from another segment, which invariably gets fed up and either leaves or quits being productive. Eventually, the republic collapses in turmoil and is replaced by a government that retains the trappings of the democratic past, but is, in fact, based solely on power. Now, was I speaking of Rome? Athens? Venice? Lombardy? The United States? Yes. Our founders, who were men of letters, who had read history and understand its sweeping trends, sought to build a state that would endure longer than other republics. The structured the state so that no faction or branch would become powerful enough to overwelm the others. We go back to their guidance for the same reason that the owner of a car refers to the manual, to troubleshoot it when something goes wrong.

Regression is one of many responses. Not the only one,
And yet, you provide no example of an alternative, much less proof that anyone has embraced one. Look at the world around you. We have the most affluent world we have ever had, by any measure. The percentage of those living in poverty is lower than at any time in human history, we have the capacity to speak instantaneously to any part of the world, to send information to any place, to be anywhere within days, sometimes hours, of departure, and how do we use it? The most complex information exchange medium in history, the internet, boasts more porn content than any other type. Our instaneous capacity to send information has allowed cave-dwelling primitives to plan and coordinate terrorist acts in cities in which they have never set foot. Our mastery of the air has provided those same primitives with the means to bring down the skyscrapers that offended their cave-dwelling sensitivities. We can put a few men on the moon, but the rage of a billion goatherders who have been left behind will eventually tear down the gantries that raise the rockets. Nothing has changed in our hearts and brains. We are the same creatures that built Rome, and then sacked it. The descendants of the Romans looked at their roads and thought that they were built by supernatural means, because they could no longer conceive of the technical means to build them. Our forebears could fill the library at Alexandria, and then burn it to the ground a few generations later. A couple of generations after the Holocaust and hatred of Jews is once again a popular meme among European elites. The iniquitity of man does not change, nor does his folly. Even this conversation, transmitted at the speed of light over fiber optic cables, is no different from the arguments put down by quill between the followers of Hobbs and Rousseau, or on parchment by Aristotle and Plato, or carved into clay and lost.

Tell me just what has changed in humanity in fifty centuries of recorded history? How do you differ from the Roman intellectual who assumed that his status would remain unchanged, even as the barbarians began closing in? Do you think that the cell phone in your pocket renders you immune to the hatred of primitives half a world away? Does the gate on your community give you the same sense of security that the walls of Rome gave Romulus Augustus? Do you see the enraged mobs burning cars in Paris, rioting in Pakistan and demanding death over cartoons and singed paper and get a chill, or do you, like the French aristocracy, assume that they will never get past the guards at the gate?

I get intensely frustrated at the preening arrogance of people who have never seen the worst that the world has to offer, or worse, who see it and assume that because they are so good, so enlightened, so pure in their motives, that such things will never happen to them, even as they destroy the means used to prevent it.

CueSi
09-19-2010, 12:18 PM
You're related to this guy... aren't you?

http://www.livius.org/a/1/judaea/josephus.JPG

~QC

Loogie
09-19-2010, 01:07 PM
The slavery thing make them so (and other issues as well ... we will probably hit those if you don't get bored). You just want to sweep that under the rug. You want to take the naked language and place it in a modern world and tell us what they meant is crystal clear. I disagree. They are not crystal clear and you are simply trying to find some Founder imprimatur for your wholly contemporary philosophy on government and liberty.

Interesting comments.

I find the info below interesting:

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2002/08/how-to-understand-slavery-and-americas

Consider the three compromises made by the Constitutional Convention delegates and approved as part of the final text:

On enumeration: Apportionment for Representatives and taxation purposes would be determined by the number of free persons and three-fifths "of all other Persons" (Art. I, Sec. 2). The pro-slavery delegates wanted their slaves counted as whole persons, thereby according their states more representation in Congress. It was the anti-slavery delegates who wanted to count slaves as less-not to dehumanize them but to penalize slaveholders. Indeed, it was antislavery delegate James Wilson of Pennsylvania who proposed the three-fifths compromise. Also, this clause did not include blacks generally, as free blacks were understood to be free persons.

On the slave trade: Congress was prohibited until 1808 from blocking the migration and importation "of such Persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit" (Art. I, Sec. 9). Although protection of the slave trade was a major concession demanded by pro-slavery delegates, the final clause was only a temporary exemption from a recognized federal power for the existing states. Moreover, it did not prevent states from restricting or outlawing the slave trade, which many had already done. "If there was no other lovely feature in the Constitution but this one," James Wilson observed, "it would diffuse a beauty over its whole countenance. Yet the lapse of a few years, and Congress will have power to exterminate slavery from within our borders." Congress passed such a national prohibition effective January 1, 1808, and President Jefferson signed it into law.

On fugitive slaves: The Privileges and Immunities Clause (Art. IV, Sec. 2) guaranteed the return upon claim of any "Person held to Service or Labour" in one state who had escaped to another state. At the last minute, the phrase "Person legally held to Service or Labour in one state" was amended to read "Person held to Service or Labour in one state, under the Laws thereof." This revision emphasized that slaves were held according to the laws of individual states and, as the historian Don Fehrenbacher has noted, "made it impossible to infer from the passage that the Constitution itself legally sanctioned slavery." Indeed, none of these clauses recognized slavery as having any legitimacy from the point of view of federal law.

Odysseus
09-19-2010, 02:46 PM
You're related to this guy... aren't you?

http://www.livius.org/a/1/judaea/josephus.JPG

~QC

Was I getting overly poetic? :D

Livy's okay, but I prefer Tacitus. Less flowery prose and more accuracy.

JB
09-19-2010, 03:11 PM
Do you see the enraged mobs burning cars in Paris, rioting in Pakistan and demanding death over cartoons and singed paper and get a chill, or do you, like the French aristocracy, assume that they will never get past the guards at the gate?Worse.

He sees them, enraged at his gate, and thinks "their outrage is somehow my fault". He then opens his gate and attempts to resolve the problems via diplomacy. He thinks he can convince them that his secular laws are far superior to their Islamic rules and that they should integrate, not overtake, into our society.

He realizes his futility and major FAIL when finds himself getting on his knees five times a day. Unless he's gay. In that case he's dead.

Odysseus
09-19-2010, 08:01 PM
Worse.

He sees them, enraged at his gate, and thinks "their outrage is somehow my fault". He then opens his gate and attempts to resolve the problems via diplomacy. He thinks he can convince them that his secular laws are far superior to their Islamic rules and that they should integrate, not overtake, into our society.

He realizes his futility and major FAIL when finds himself getting on his knees five times a day. Unless he's gay. In that case he's dead.

No, he thinks that the rage is our fault, meaning his less enlightened neighbors. He thinks that if we were just as accommodating as EU-nuchs, we'd have no more problems with enraged Muslims than the French, Dutch, British or other Europeans do.

CueSi
09-19-2010, 08:18 PM
Was I getting overly poetic? :D

Livy's okay, but I prefer Tacitus. Less flowery prose and more accuracy.

That was Josephus. :p

~QC

Odysseus
09-19-2010, 08:45 PM
That was Josephus. :p
~QC

Sorry, didn't recognize him from his image. I saw that the site was livius.org, and assumed that it was Livy. But no, Flavius Josephus was a traitor who converted to Roman paganism and was used by the Romans to try to convince the besieged inhabitants of Jerusalem to surrender and throw themselves on the kindness of the legions. Personally, I can understand the appeal, as it beat dying on his way out of Jerusalem, and the Romans threw a hell of an orgy, but I'm sticking to the faith of my fathers. Okay, except for the bacon.

NJCardFan
09-19-2010, 11:26 PM
On fugitive slaves: The Privileges and Immunities Clause (Art. IV, Sec. 2) guaranteed the return upon claim of any "Person held to Service or Labour" in one state who had escaped to another state. At the last minute, the phrase "Person legally held to Service or Labour in one state" was amended to read "Person held to Service or Labour in one state, under the Laws thereof." This revision emphasized that slaves were held according to the laws of individual states and, as the historian Don Fehrenbacher has noted, "made it impossible to infer from the passage that the Constitution itself legally sanctioned slavery." Indeed, none of these clauses recognized slavery as having any legitimacy from the point of view of federal law.

Don't forget that it was the Democratic Party who, when they gained control of both houses of congress, allowed it to where not only can slave owners send bounty hunters into northern states to retrieve runaway slaves, they allowed it to be that the bounty hunters could grab up any blacks they saw, dragged them back to the south, and whether that black person was a runaway slave or a free born northern person didn't matter, that black would be a slave no matter what. Just another legacy of the Democratic Party they try to whitewash out of the history books.

noonwitch
09-20-2010, 09:02 AM
Slavery was controversial in the lifetimes of Washington and Jefferson. Adams rejected it. British poet William Blake wrote a poem called Visions of the Daughters of Albion, in which he used the metaphor of rape to decry the practice of slavery in the newly formed USA. The Quakers rejected slavery, also, as did many northern churches.


Washington and Jefferson were human beings who were instrumental in the founding of our nation. But they were imperfect, and were wrong about using human beings as slaves. There's no justification for it, in their time or ours.

Wei Wu Wei
09-20-2010, 04:01 PM
You have created a straw man argument. No one is saying that we should ignore all of the history that came before or after the founding. What we are saying is that the laws of the nation only make sense in the context of the founding. By arguing against going back to Washington, Jefferson and the rest of the founders, you are ignoring the social/political/philosophical context of the present day in order to justify your immediate political wants.

I agree that the laws only make sense in the context of the founding, this is why after centuries of radical unforeseeable change it's important to refrain from making direct connections between texts of that time and the situation today.


You've got it exactly backwards. History is a series of repeated changes. Republics are formed. They grow and prosper. Prosperity breeds indolence, decadence and weakness. One segment of the population learns to vote itself benefits from another segment, which invariably gets fed up and either leaves or quits being productive. Eventually, the republic collapses in turmoil and is replaced by a government that retains the trappings of the democratic past, but is, in fact, based solely on power. Now, was I speaking of Rome? Athens? Venice? Lombardy? The United States? Yes. Our founders, who were men of letters, who had read history and understand its sweeping trends, sought to build a state that would endure longer than other republics. The structured the state so that no faction or branch would become powerful enough to overwelm the others. We go back to their guidance for the same reason that the owner of a car refers to the manual, to troubleshoot it when something goes wrong.

Repetition isn't change, I agree though that history moves in cycles of a sort. History moves in spirals, repeating itself slightly differently each time, it's two forces acting against each other perpetually that drives history and change forward.

The problem with the car analogy is once the car is built, even though it may break down, it does not continue to change and evolve. A manual written for a car that continues evolving it's form and function would be worthless unless the manual could change along with the car. This is what our constitution is, but unchanged texts from the musings of the founders are not as directly applicable, because what they wrote about doesn't exist as it did when they wrote it.



And yet, you provide no example of an alternative, much less proof that anyone has embraced one. Look at the world around you. We have the most affluent world we have ever had, by any measure. The percentage of those living in poverty is lower than at any time in human history, we have the capacity to speak instantaneously to any part of the world, to send information to any place, to be anywhere within days, sometimes hours, of departure, and how do we use it? The most complex information exchange medium in history, the internet, boasts more porn content than any other type. Our instaneous capacity to send information has allowed cave-dwelling primitives to plan and coordinate terrorist acts in cities in which they have never set foot. Our mastery of the air has provided those same primitives with the means to bring down the skyscrapers that offended their cave-dwelling sensitivities. We can put a few men on the moon, but the rage of a billion goatherders who have been left behind will eventually tear down the gantries that raise the rockets. Nothing has changed in our hearts and brains. We are the same creatures that built Rome, and then sacked it. The descendants of the Romans looked at their roads and thought that they were built by supernatural means, because they could no longer conceive of the technical means to build them. Our forebears could fill the library at Alexandria, and then burn it to the ground a few generations later. A couple of generations after the Holocaust and hatred of Jews is once again a popular meme among European elites. The iniquitity of man does not change, nor does his folly. Even this conversation, transmitted at the speed of light over fiber optic cables, is no different from the arguments put down by quill between the followers of Hobbs and Rousseau, or on parchment by Aristotle and Plato, or carved into clay and lost.

Tell me just what has changed in humanity in fifty centuries of recorded history?

Very insightful, but I would say, paradoxically, that change and non-change are both occurring. History is repeating itself like a spiral, but with enough change that it's never a closed loop circle. We are watching the same drama and struggle play out through history just with differnet players.

Different people have tried to describe this constant feature in a constantly changing world. Marxists say the history of civilization is the history of class struggle.

As for what has changed, ideas have changed, institutions have changed, revolutions in thought and technology sometimes change everything onward.

Man's conception of himself due to philosophers in Europe. History as we conceive today is relatively new. The fact that we have mapped the human genome and are on the edge of purposefully modifying ourselves as a species.


How do you differ from the Roman intellectual who assumed that his status would remain unchanged, even as the barbarians began closing in? Do you think that the cell phone in your pocket renders you immune to the hatred of primitives half a world away? Does the gate on your community give you the same sense of security that the walls of Rome gave Romulus Augustus? Do you see the enraged mobs burning cars in Paris, rioting in Pakistan and demanding death over cartoons and singed paper and get a chill, or do you, like the French aristocracy, assume that they will never get past the guards at the gate?

I get intensely frustrated at the preening arrogance of people who have never seen the worst that the world has to offer, or worse, who see it and assume that because they are so good, so enlightened, so pure in their motives, that such things will never happen to them, even as they destroy the means used to prevent it.

I have no idea what the future may be like. Riots and wars and horrors I've never seen in this country are possible. Good things are possible too. The only thing I do feel I know for sure is that things will change.