Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I Will Honor The Humanity Of Materialists But I'm Not Going To Pretend Their Ideology Isn't Fatal To Liberalism

Someone is disturbed by my exchange in the comments with one "Tralfaz Wizard" who, I will grant him this, was rational enough and civil enough to make it past filters and moderation.  Almost no one else who tries to post that point of view has, except when I've found it useful to let them through in the past.

I don't apologize for asserting that the logical ends of materialism are what they are and that both as a matter of logical application of their starting position and, in fact, in the claims of materialists in the literature, materialism is inimical to liberalism in its traditional American form. That liberalism  of human equality, freedom, and the equally held moral obligation on us all to respect rights and the well being of people we are unrelated to, not friends of, of even our enemies and those who persecute us.

Any materialist who claims to believe in the reality of freedom, rights, equality and, most of all, the equally held moral obligations that entails are being inconsistent with their intellectual position.  I will grant them credit for being humane to the extent they are willing to do that, just as I will admit that there are others who violate their intellectual position as an expression of  the better angels of their nature.  I would include some Biblical fundamentalists and others whose positions I would disagree with and which I think at times can lead to quite inhumane results.

But the problem with materialism is that such exceptions can't be counted on, no more than it can be counted on that Christians will live by the Gospel of Jesus,  The problem with materialism comes from materialists who live according to their faith, the problem with Christians comes when they don't live according to their faith.  Which is a big difference in judging the reality of the two ways of thinking.

I think the history of the 20th century shows that you shouldn't count on the relatively few otiose, tenured,contented members of Western university faculties to reliably reveal the qualitative content of materialism when its reality as a governing principle is apparent in the terrible dictatorships that started in the French Reign of Terror and in a line that that continues today.  I think an even more telling problem in that area is the attitude of large numbers of intellectual atheists in the United States, Britain and elsewhere, especially to the dialectical materialist dictatorships.

A couple of years ago I noted that Katha Pollit (who I once respected) was waxing nostalgically about the Progressive Labor party, the party that, failing to take over Students For A Democratic Society engineered its implosion into the stupidity of the Weather Underground.   Progressive Labor was explicitly a Maoist party and the time period of its greatest influence - such as that was - was during the Cultural Revolution in China which killed millions of people as a means of Mao and his crime family to keep and tighten their control of China. Progressive Labor overtly supported the Cultural Revolution.  Those lovely Progressive Labor folks and their supporters and those who reminisce about them with misty eyes were supporting people every bit as murderous as the Nazis.  I would say that the fact that the materialist dialectic in China was murdering Asians which might account for why white, American Marxists wouldn't count them as important but you could note the same thing for the Stalinists and others as tens of millions were being murdered in the Soviet Union.   If they had taken any of those holdings of liberalism as absolute truths - as they must be to be effective - they could never have taken the position they did then or now.  Katha Pollitt, as so many aging scribblers have, has become active in the neo-atheist agitation, especially the old "Freedom From Religion" outfit.She isn't a generally unobservant person.  I can't shake the idea that there's a connection between her materialism and her failure to see the mountains of corpses.    That's a common enough thing in Marxists sitting comfortably, working in the religion infested United States they want to change to their thinking.   I can't hold those folk to be especially nice people.

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