Thursday, October 2, 2014

It Doesn't Get Any Better than This!

Within liberal ideology, MAXIMIZING FUTURE FREEDOM OF ACTION = INTELLIGENCE

from Nicrap's blog:
Truth OR Appearance of Truth?

What passes for “virtue” in our own bourgeois household: There ought to be at least more than one dish on the table during meals — one preferably a curry — so the hand could “turn” and didn’t have to return to one place again and again (or as my mother sometimes puts it now: “until your father was alive, there were always served two dishes; only now do we sometimes have just one.”) 2. At all times there ought to be a surplus of essential household items. It is a sign of "want" to have to rush to the market each time a thing is needed (as when a guest arrives and there are no refreshments.) 3. When visiting someone else’s house one must never go empty-handed but should always carry some eatable (but never a pack of biscuits.) And what is considered “vulgar” (especially for women): to go about the daytime wearing only a nightgown.

(People from my own part of the land will easily recognize these “truths” in these expressions:
हाथ पल्टुड़ लिजी दूइ साग तो हूँड़ चैनी; खाली हाथ कसी जां, के ना के तो लीजाण भै; कोई ऐ गे कोई नह गे। बड़ भल लागूं। भीतरपन चीज़ तो हूँड़ चान।)
Maximizing options, Nicrap?

41 comments:

nicrap said...
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nicrap said...

lol. I knew you had a taste for droll — or a droll taste, i don't know which. ;) Btw, thanks for the "lift" (pun intended.) :)

-FJ said...

I'm sure that its' the latter. I am very bourgeoisie. :)

nicrap said...

lol. i am sure you can't help it. ;) ... But, kidding aside, could i ask you a question: to what extent do you think a person's politics defines him? ... But then what is politics, someone might ask ... what will be your answer to both these questions? I would like to know. :)

nicrap said...

But then what is politics, someone might ask

...in the context of the first question, of course, i.e., to what extent does a person's politics define him?

Thersites said...

Just off the cuff, with no "research"...

IMO, politics is man's non-violent "peace-time" linguistic-symbolic means for creating the social environment in which he will operate. War is its' non-verbal violently expressed symbolic equivalent.

Since politics establish social relations and the social environment in which a man will operate, they define him to the extent he either goes along with, or seeks to change said "normalized" relations.

As a social conservative, I generally support the classical-liberal form of social relations and oppose those who seek to change them. I do, however, support institutions which enable individuals to distance and separate themselves from the pre-existing social units (ie Federalism - 50 relatively independent States in the USA)... as my bourgeois beliefs would lead me to believe that the more options/models for social relations there are, the more likely one can find an "acceptable" social group to join.

I'm not a fan of hereditary-based social relations (castes), but believe that there should be a relatively high degree of social mobility available to those who would educate and work to improve their own "lot".

Thersites said...

Naive? Probably.

nicrap said...
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nicrap said...

Naive? Not at all ... However, one thing is clear, that politics has indeed replaced philosophy (and religion) ... i mean there was a time when anybody wanting to improve his and his fellow men's "lot" would have turned to either philosophy or religion, but not today ... today he turns to politics.

nicrap said...

...even his social lot, i meant.

Thersites said...

Well, I suppose there was a time when the social virtues and individual virtues were thought to be somewhat different. In other words, driving a quadriga was different than riding a horse. In these "democratic" times, people tend to believe that governments should exhibit the virtues once best suited for individuals (ie- charity, grace, etc.) and that there is no difference in driving a quadriga and a saddled horse.

nicrap said...

But that is precisely my point. (Sorry, sometimes i have difficulty formulating even simple thoughts.) Virtue was never an affair of state, until the bourgeoisie made it so...he who first dreamt of a "moral city" and deemed order sufficient for it. Thus he who first turned politics — the acquiring of state power and later on using it by passing laws, etc. — into the preferred vehicle for social change. And this is true in spite of however much you might rue the government's intervention in your lives now. While, formerly, it was exclusively a matter for philosophy and religion.

nicrap said...

...why, don't you yourself admit that politics is what creates the "social environment" in which a man operates? It is quite in keeping with your bourgeois antecedents (self-proclaimed). ;)

-FJ said...

I agree, it has been a disaster, especially with politics on the "National" level, as we are all fitted with a one- size- fits- all liberal- progressive straight jacket that represents the social values of the 51% "nationally" (300 million). As for myself, I'd rather worship my own particular household gods than Zeus. The "erosion" of "State's Rights"(5 million) has become a real problem here, since the Civil War of the 1860's and the transfer of military forces from the Individual States to Federal control. The bourgeois in me still wants a "variety" of options available.

-FJ said...

And ps- the virtues of the "State" will always be Authoritarian and hard/ cruel. Only the citizens can afford to be "soft"... which is why "democracies" tend to degenerate rather more quickly than other social systems.

nicrap said...

I think the question is twofold: 1. What passes for "virtue" in the world of the bourgeoisie? Is he truly virtuous — as he no doubt claims — or is there only an appearance of virtue (as others have suspected before me)? At any rate, are his virtues the same as those of, let's say, Classical Antiquity ... or even of his own Christian forebears?

2. And this concerns our present discussion more: Is order adequate to virtue? (The bourgeoisie definitely thought so.) But will it not rather create a state of affairs where people will only APPEAR to be virtuous while their hearts will remain untouched? For the simple reason that the law that rules the heart is not the same as the one that rules the land. The former can never be ENFORCED, it can only be CULTIVATED. A task for philosophy.


And it is on this twofold question and its answers that the bourgeoisie's true legacy depends ... a not too great legacy, i am afraid to say.

-FJ said...

What passes for "virtue" in the world of the bourgeoisie?

Choice

I think that the video on this post even goes so far as to attempt to extend that "virtue" into the realm of "intelligence" proper.

And no, these are not the same virtues as in Classical Antiquity. I believe that the virtue then was more "Self-Reliance" than "maximizing options" available. Ditto for the Christian forebears.

Is order "adequate"? I agree, an order imposed using the "external force" of a few enforcers is not nearly as durable as one imposed self-willfully by all who are subject the prescribed order and who must thereby would appear to agree that they "benefit" from it.

-FJ said...

For when the citizens no longer feel that they benefit from the established order, they stop following the rules and the heretofore established order must rely upon the support of ever increasing numbers of "law enforcers" for its' continued "external" imposition.

-FJ said...

Re-reading, classical virtues were more than mere self-reliance (Gnothi Seauton). Roman virtue was whatever exalted the city/state. To sacrifice one's-self for Rome was the height of virtue in the "Republican" era (before Caesar).

nicrap said...

classical virtues were more than mere self-reliance (Gnothi Seauton).

I couldn't have put it better. As to 'choice' ... least said the better. heh.

Hope you are enjoyin your stay in NYC. Pleasure or work?

-FJ said...

No longer there. I was helping my daughter move into her new apartment in Queens when I took a wrong turn and ended up on the Queensborough Bridge going into Manhattan.

And I suppose it was "work" for the "pleasure" of helping my daughter move her stuff out of my house in Maryland. Know anybody who wants to rent a room? ;)

And no, I'm not so bourgeois that I'd rent rooms out of my own home. :P

nicrap said...

I'm not so bourgeois that I'd rent rooms out of my own home.

lol. Not so "petite-bourgeoisie" you mean; for, he might.... ;) :p

p.s. I hope your daughter has comfortably settled into her new rooms. I wish her the very best in her endeavors. May she be always hale and hearty and never give into self-contented ease just like her father.

Thersites said...
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Thersites said...

Being a member of the "salaried" bourgeoisie does have its' advantages over those of the petite variety. ;)

Speaking of which, I wonder if its' time to demand an increase to my "surplus wage".

The struggle is eternal. ;)

Thersites said...

The proletarianisation of the lower salaried bourgeoisie is matched at the opposite extreme by the irrationally high remuneration of top managers and bankers (irrational since, as investigations have demonstrated in the US, it tends to be inversely proportional to a company’s success). Rather than submit these trends to moralising criticism, we should read them as signs that the capitalist system is no longer capable of self-regulated stability – it threatens, in other words, to run out of control. -Slavoj Zizek, "Revolt of the Salaried Bourgeoisie"


Hmmmm, maybe not.

nicrap said...

Heh. So do we have here another bourgeois "vitue" then: Thou shalt not rent rooms out of your own house ... or else be called "vulgar"? I wonder if the bourgeoisie would saomeday think of passing a law in this regard, or of using some other means of inscribing it in the institutions of state power. ;)

nicrap said...

or else be called "vulgar"

...maybe even "socially dangerous".

-FJ said...

Quite possibly another "virtue", but then when Telemachus visited Nestor in Pylos when searching for his father, Odysseus, I don't think that the old warrior billed the boy.

Call me old fashioned!

-FJ said...

Money is what enables a man to maintain a certain "social distance" from others. When he who doesn't have it accepts "money" in return for services from others who do, he loses that "distance" and must "rub elbows" with the unwashed "other".

The salaried bourgeoisie have "sufficient" money. The petite have a "appetite for more" of it.

-FJ said...

The virtue of more "choice" for a bourgeoisie is "self-referential", and not "altruistic".

nicrap said...
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nicrap said...

The virtue of more "choice" for a bourgeoisie is "self-referential", and not "altruistic".

Indeed, my friend. (Actually i was hoping to avoid any discussion on "choice", but it seems there is no getting away from it.)

So tell me then (and excuse my impertinence) ... Do you keep more than one wives or approve of those who do? No — but what about maximizing your "options"? ... But suppose you did — do you think it would be good for you, make you happier, more free? Rather, would it not enslave you even more than you already are; for one, because your needs would be greater, and two, because you would be giving free reins to your appetites, your passions, precisely what the Ancients meant when they called a person a slave.

It is then a kind of sophism to equate "freedom of choice" with real freedom (and those who indulge in it are the modern-day sophists.) Real freedom does not come from maximizing your "options", it comes from personal courage and endurance, i.e., the strength of your moral character. The former only gives an ILLUSION of freedom, instead. Moreover, those preaching it themselves do not practice it: Illusion and hypocrisy, the twin definitions of sophistry.

Thersites said...

Such Impertinence! ;)

I couldn't agree with you more.

Thersites said...

...but then, should my "surplus wage" ever cease being sufficient, perhaps I will rent out that room...

nicrap said...

heh. In that case i hope you have more than one room to rent out, you know just in case the rent from the first one did not prove "sufficient", and so on... ;)

nicrap said...
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nicrap said...

In that case i hope you have more than one room to rent out...

infinitely more (i should have added).

nicrap said...

nyt, my friend. Time i should turn in. :)

Thersites said...

Ciao! Sleep tight!

Thersites said...

...my friend, and dream of commodity fetishes!

nicrap said...

lol.