"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

Jun 7, 2009

Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind

Can America be Fixed?

Global Research, May 29, 2009

“Washington tends to enforce a foolish consistency. If you are someone of some prominence whose views are known publicly, then everything you have ever said in the past tends to be projected forward and everything you say today is projected backward. Any discrepancy potentially brings charges of flip-flopping or hypocrisy or selling-out or whatever. Certainly, these charges are valid in many cases, but the simple possibility that circumstances have changed or that experience or new evidence has caused one to change one’s mind seems never to be seriously entertained. The result is to force people to stick with positions they know are wrong because they less fear being foolishly consistent than being attacked for flip-flopping.”
(Bruce Barlett)

When Americans adopted the notion that acting on principle, standing up and fighting for what one believes in, is virtuous, while changing one’s mind, even on sufficient evidence, is unprincipled flip-flopping and unseemly is not known, but it surely has its foundation in the American addiction to ideology which places greater value on belief than on knowledge. This notion’s absurdity should be obvious, but apparently it isn’t. Acting on erroneous principles leads to disaster, and why anyone should be willing to do that is an enigma. Yet even more sinister consequences follow from this notion. Since no prominent person, especially one holding elective office, wants to be labeled “unprincipled,” people are loath to change their views even when they know those views are wrong. Once they have decided that being “principled” is more important than being right, they have no inclination or desire to question the validity of their views by seeking the truth. The result is that these so-called principles become ossified dogmas, debate degenerates into vituperation, government becomes ineffective, and society disintegrates.

But the adoption of this notion along with the American addiction to ideology does not prevent inconsistency, and Bartlett’s comment reveals another trait of what passes for America’s intelligentsia—the curious inability to think past the first level of consequences.

What Bartlett misses is that people hold “principled” views on numerous issues. Holding a “principled” view on one issue can conflict with the “principled” views held by the same people on other issues, and if the “principled” people have no inclination or desire to validate any of their views, the inconsistencies never become apparent to them.


At 7:54 AM , Blogger Belle Epoque said...

"...the curious inability to think past the first level of consequences."

And that line right there just about sums up a lot of what I consider the American political think tank...not especially visionary and terribly myopic.

At 9:29 AM , Blogger Indigobusiness said...

I'd agree. But it seems the public dialog is just a a form of misdirection while the true purpose of politics operates underneath the radar, and is another thing entirely.

At 6:46 PM , Blogger Belle Epoque said...

Oh I know you're right about that Indigo. The general public will never come to know the sinister power brokers behind global politics or truly understand the shifting sands beneath their own feet. That's what those TV political analyst blabbermouths were invented for: to manipulate the public into a false sense of empowerment. It's on some level laughable, and on another, absolutely terrifying.

At 9:10 PM , Blogger Indigobusiness said...


A few years back, if anyone had tried to convince me of what I now believe, I never would've bought into it. I had certain suspicions then, but nothing like my views today.

At 9:19 PM , Blogger Indigobusiness said...

By the way, Prof Kozy is an extraordinary man. I have great respect for his opinion. He's great to listen to, as well as read.

At 8:07 AM , Blogger Belle Epoque said...

Prof. Kozy says...

"Dumbing people down is easy; the hard part is smartening them up, and unfortunately beating the technology beast will not help, because that ass does not respond to whipping."

I really agree with some of Prof.Kozy's views about the dumbing down of Americans (and civilization really to a large extent). I recently participated in an test that involved final exam questions from a general test given to grade 8 students in 1895 and I barely scraped by. The general consciousness of humans is suffering under the spell of technology...making the brain lazier than ever, and yet giving the illusion that you have advanced to a position of higher knowledge somehow. Makes you wonder about the wider agendas in civilization and the enslaving of people's minds and lives through every possible channel.

At 9:03 AM , Blogger Indigobusiness said...

Tell me about it, Belle. We're very much on the same page on this. America truly has realized much of the nightmarish warnings of 1984 and Brave New World, with technology as sacrosanct and the savior we culturally rely on.

At some point, even in our dumbed-down state, we'll realize the folly of TECHNOFIX...we'll see the vicious cycle that leads us on our tailchasing way to disaster. Probably at a point way too late.

When I first began to entertain the idea that we're under the influence of diabolical social engineers, one major signpost was the anti-intellectualization of America. With derogatory jokes all around about the highly educated and subtle pressures not to flex the gray matter. My suspicions were only the tip of the iceberg, apparently.

At 9:57 AM , Blogger JerseyCynic said...

Decline Of Civilization

It's a full time job undoing what my kids are bombarded with on a daily basis. Then I start my other full time job teaching them how to think for themselves and why you need to question EVERYTHING.

At 11:17 AM , Blogger Indigobusiness said...

Hi there, JC. Great link, thanks. I'll post that.

It's amazing how much trouble we're in because basic thinking skills are not fundamental to basic education. How does anyone graduate high school, much less college, with no grip on critical thinking and dispassionate analysis?

Everyone seems steeped in dogma these days, geared toward personal bias and opinion rather than sussing out truth.

It's astonishing.

At 5:15 PM , Blogger Belle Epoque said...

Hi Indigo...complacency, however astonishing, is a comfort zone few can part with. When it's drummed into your head like sacrosanct, it's permanent. The media machine has long and far reaching tentacles. If high school students were taught to read actual books instead of absorb their insights through the thought bytes of famous and seemingly clever media personas, they might develop the acumen to reason out their own critical thought. How can students develop intellectually when their own parents are media slaves and demonstrate lack of original thought as a rule. We come back to Prof. Kozy and his spot on views of intellectual laziness.

At 5:59 PM , Blogger Indigobusiness said...



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