Saturday, May 30, 2015

On Fundamentalism, etc.

The 'fundamentalism' Zizek describes appears to me to represent Adam Smith/ laissez-faire/ Enlightenment Era form of capitalism/ trade. He even see's the progressive "European Left" as it's nearest 'other' when characterizing the three 'levels' of today's post-modern "problems." And Boko Haram simply represents an extreme reaction against these new forms of "cultural" and older forms of mercantilist and/ or sophistry tainted aspects of capitalism... ie- capitalism contaminated by cultural Left 'pogroms' (gay rights, women's rights, etc) or nationalist/ mercantilist interests... and that have arisen and atteched themselves to Enlightened laissez-faire capitalism since '68 as explained by Zizek, here.


FreeThinke said...

I'd be interested to learn what Zizek might have to say abut homosexuality.

Does he share your passionate sense of rejection based on revulsion?

PS: The God-damned, f-ckin' FLASH PLAYER has been "updated" yet again for the skatey-eighth time this year, so I cannot access videos. Have no idea when –– or even IF –– I shall be able to respond intelligently again.

I suspect that any day now "they" [i.e. the G-d-damned bastards who run this benighted "industry"] will start to block access even to the printed word, although as literate individuals such as my poor self, become increasingly redundant, dwindle in numbers and shuffle off the coil, such Draconian measures in the de facto conspiracy to exert Total Mind Control over All Mankind will not be necessary. [We may not like it, but we know when we're licked.]

What the hell ELSE do you think the obvious "Dumbing-Down Process" has been all about since it's inception more than half a century ago?

FreeThinke said...


A mask for self indulgence, piety
Contains a plausible ingredient. An
Overbearing aura of propriety
Negates what to it’s not obedient, and

So a Self-Sealed System’s put in place
To exclude everything that won’t conform,
Adore, pay homage to a cell-like place
No loving person would have as a norm.

The rationale for doing what one chooses
Brings isolation, tedium and grief.
Indulging Self exclusively soon loses
Touch with a sound basis for belief.

Cast aspersions, scorn, express contempt.
Hell still yawns. Zealots are not exempt.

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

______ SEEN at the WINDOW ______

Go quickly to the window; take a look.
Outside on the horizon past the lawn
An army gathers set to move at dawn.
From their demonic, sacred Holy Book

Authority for their campaign is drawn
To compensate for old affronts. Their aim
Provides excuse to loot, destroy and maim
Innocent descendants whose heads sawn ––

Slowly, severed from their earthly frame
In agony –– inspires holy zeal
Beyond the soul’s capacity to feel
Compassion –– Righteous Wrath’s eternal claim.

Too late! The future waiting to be born
Will in its womb be slashed, then die forlorn.

~ FreeThinke

Gert said...

I'd be interested to learn what Zizek might have to say abut homosexuality.

To Farmer's chagrin I think you'll find Slavoj to be PC on that! ;-)

I call Farmer's revulsion 'scientific homophobia'. ;-)

Gert said...

My collection of Zizek vids grows ever more.

-FJ said...

Yes, Zizek is quite PC on the subject of homosexuality.

Scientific homophobia... is that like having the common sense not to stick your finger into a live electrical socket (scientific electrophobia)?


FreeThinke said...

I don't think you mean "PC," old friend, "sympathetic," or possibly "neutral" might better serve your purpose.

Gert said...


It's got quote marks around it because you tend to cherry-pick evidence. Some of your concerns are far more visceral than plain 'fears of electricity', I think.

FreeThinke said...

Since I equate "Fundamentalism" with "Fanatacism" of any and all varieties, I include the following sonnet, because it clearly demonstrates that I TOO am a fanatic –– in my own rite, –– even though I often write with tongue-in-cheek –– something that Alas! too often escapes my readers.

I would dare to say that anyone who rigidly holds strong opinions of ANY kind is certainly by definition a BIGOT. Whether that verges into the realm of fanaticism is a matter of opinion, and certainly depends on the degree of rigidity involved. Bigotry always implies intolerance, but intolerance of WHAT needs always to be taken into consideration. Matters of simple DISLIKE and DISAPPROVAL ought not to be conflated with BIGOTRY in the sense that leads to ostracism and persecution, etc.

______ Exulting in Authority ______

Oh how I love the garbage to delete!
The process fills my pulsing soul with thrills
With which naught ever could hope to compete.
'Tis quite like taking aim from window sills ––

High above the vulgar madding crowd ––
At mischief-makers' furtive machinations
Engaging in atrocious acts unbowed
By decency or prudent calculations.

What fun to act the role of unknown sniper
Picking off the brigands self-directed!
Better that than letting vicious vipers
Nurse on blameless bosoms undetected.

Exulting as I wield my scimitar
I lop the heads off trolls who’ve gone too far.

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

HEY LOOKEE HERE: RUSSIA might be the best place for you after all, Farmer ;-)

The Mailed Fist of Repression Strikes Another Blow for TYRANNY. WOO HOO!

May 30, 10:53 AM EDT


MOSCOW (AP) -- Police in the Russian capital have detained 15 people after a clash broke out between gay-rights advocates and opponents.

A small group of activists tried to hold an unauthorized demonstration in support of gay rights outside the mayor's office on Saturday. But opponents fought with them and police detained people from both sides.

There was no immediate word on whether any of those detained would be charged, the Interfax news agency reported.
Animosity toward homosexuals is high in Russia. Authorities routinely deny permission to hold gay-rights demonstrations on the grounds of maintaining public order and avoiding violence.


Gert said...


Ok, I'm gonna stick my head above the parapet on this on. I doubt if Farmer really agrees with these Russian thuggish anti-Gays.

But I sure am curious what he has to say on that matter.

Gert said...

Grr. '[...] on this.' of course.

FreeThinke said...

I've known Farmer now through myriad identities for over fifteen years, Gert. He maintains, I think, his enduring fascination, aura of mystery and intrigue by never quite telling anyone what he really believes.

Nevertheless, I count him among the very few "good guys" in my acquaintance. An essential integrity always seems to shine through the obfuscatory smoke screen with which he adamantly surrounds himself.

I think it was Andre Gide, if anyone remembers him these days, who said something to the effect that "serious-minded individuals are generally loath to conclude."

A lot of our exchanges, I'm afraid, are mere flummery, but we rather enjoy putting each other on. 'Tis not always the case, however, so prenez garde.

I'm serious enough also to have realized long ago that nothing is worth taking too seriously with the possible exception of tyranny. That probably accounts for my perpetual War on Righteous Indignation and admittedly nettlesome disposition.

At age 74 very little else is left to me other than relishing the role of curmudgeon. ;-)

FreeThinke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
-FJ said...

I am virulently anti-promiscuity and anti-STD. Why? A few facts.

1) Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes most cervical cancers, as well as some cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and oropharynx (cancers of the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils).

2) My wife developed and was treated for cervical cancer. She has been cured.

3) I was a Merchant Mariner

4) Where do you think she picked it up?

5) Do you think that I believe that 'tolerance' of promiscuity is the way to go...

It's one thing to make a mistake. It's another to learn from it and try and prevent others from making similar ones.

-FJ said...

HPV (the virus): About 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. About 14 million people become newly infected each year. HPV is so common that most sexually-active men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives.

Health problems related to HPV include genital warts and cervical cancer.

Genital warts: About 360,000 people in the United States get genital warts each year.

Cervical cancer: More than 11,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer each year.

-FJ said...

HPV is a relatively benign STD. AIDS, however, is not.

-FJ said...

And no, I don't believe in gay-bashing for it's own sake... but I do believe that keeping homosexuality IN the closet saves thousands, if not millions, of lives. If 'education' could accomplish what 'street fighting' could not, fine... condemn the street fighting. But gays don't simply want to practice their sexuality, they demand acceptance and normalization of the acts. And it's hard to 'educate' against the socially accepted and respectable. You just have to cope with its' consequences. As in S. Africa with its' 18% of the polulation AIDS infection rate.

-FJ said...

On the prospects of increased promiscuity... from the NY Times:

ON every issue save abortion, social liberalism is suddenly ascendant in America. The shift on same-sex marriage has captured the headlines, but the change is much more comprehensive: In just 15 years, we have gone from being a society divided roughly evenly between progressive and traditionalist visions to a country where social conservatism is countercultural and clearly in retreat.

This reality is laid bare in the latest Gallup social issues survey, which shows that it’s not only support for same-sex marriage that’s climbing swiftly: so is approval of unwed parenthood (45 percent in 2001, 61 percent now), divorce (59 percent then, 71 percent today), and premarital sex (53 percent then, 68 percent now). Approval of physician-assisted suicide is up seven points and support for research that destroys human embryos for research is up 12, pushing both practices toward supermajority support.

Oh, and one more thing: The acceptance of polygamy has more than doubled.

Now admittedly, that last one is an outlier: Support for plural matrimony rose to 16 percent from 7 percent, a swift rise but still a very low number. Polygamy is bobbing forward in social liberalism’s wake, but it’s a long way from being part of the new permissive consensus.

Whether it will eventually get there is an interesting question. Many social conservatives argue that it will — that the now-ascendant model of marriage as a gender-neutral and easily-dissolved romantic contract offers no compelling grounds for limiting the number of people who might wish to marry. And conservatives do have a pretty good track record (the consolation prize of cultural defeat) when it comes to predicting how the logic of expressive individualism unfolds.

Gert said...


I’ve known Farmer for a long time too and he’s BY FAR one of the more interesting bloggers around. And less ambiguous than you make out, IMHO.


Very sorry (and happy too) to hear about your wife. My own tested positive but never went symptomatic. She was quite ‘loose’ when she was younger. Her health was never compromised, thankfully.

The problem you have is that homosexuality is still going through its emancipatory phase, the result of millennia long ‘policy’ of ruthless and irrational persecution.

Far more information and education are needed to raise awareness of STDs. Unfortunately many in your camp are opposed to that too! ‘The Kids Have sex’, whether we like it or not.

Gert said...

Prohibitions, whether imposed by thugs or by the State, don't work very well.

It would only lead to more ignorance and secret 'bath houses'.

Gert said...

Why I find American 'political' Xtians hard to take serious, on anything:

Jesus wouldn't make it to the Supreme Court (at 3:13)

-FJ said...

The persecution wasn't "irrational". They were perfectly "rational".

And prohibitions do work. Look at the incest taboo. At least children have a 'reasonable' chance today of making it "innocently" into adolescence because of the incest taboo. Take it away, and even more children would be dragged into the vicious cycle of sexual abuse.

Society needds to speak out, constantly and consistently about the dangers of STD's and sexual abuse. Normalizing sexual promiscuity is NOT the answer. People need to know that when they sleep around, they are committing a potentially dangerous act. One dangerous not only to themselves, but to many others as well. And so "precautions" need to be taken. And NOT just against 'pregnancy'.

Gert said...

Society needds to speak out, constantly and consistently about the dangers of STD's and sexual abuse. Normalizing sexual promiscuity is NOT the answer. People need to know that when they sleep around, they are committing a potentially dangerous act.

No contest. Criminalising sex won't work though. It's been tried, QED.

Gert said...


I don't think you mean "PC," old friend, "sympathetic," or possibly "neutral" might better serve your purpose.

You rant and rail a lot against PC, FT. What makes you conclude Zizek isn't PC on this?

Me I'm 'uncomplicated' like that: PC can certainly be used to 'silence' and 'derail' debate. But's it's not the kind of dustbin Farmer makes it out to be: declaring everything you disagree with as simply a consequence of PC is merely another attempt at 'silencing' and 'derailing'.

Gert said...

The 'original revulsion' about homosexuality, all those millennia ago, was almost certainly tied to fears about fertility, vague notions about it being 'unnatural', perhaps with a few Classic cases of scapegoating 'internal external enemies' thrown in.

Gert said...

Past and present prohibitions that don't work too well: alcohol and drugs.

-FJ said...

Past and present prohibitions that don't work too well: alcohol and drugs.

I would say that absolute prohibitions (bans) don't work well, but that allowing doctors to prescibe drugs "in moderation" is a very effective safeguard against widespread abuse. ABuse can still occur, but there is a "paper trail".

-FJ said...

The 'original revulsion' about homosexuality...

The original "revulsion" against it was highlighted in Petronius' Arbiter's "Satyricon". Children being kept as catamites, and "gangs" of robbers/ highwaymen in desolate regions -as the ability to keep an army in the field for a long period of time without the "need" for R&R (Theban and Spartan armies). Homosexuality is "miltarily" very useful (ala 'Sacred Band').

-FJ said...

PS- fears of fertility damage, given the prevalence of STD's, was extremely well warranted, IMO.

-FJ said...

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are important preventable causes of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility. Untreated, about 10-15% of women with chlamydia will develop PID. Chlamydia can also cause fallopian tube infection without any symptoms. PID and “silent” infection in the upper genital tract may cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues, which can lead to infertility.

FreeThinke said...

Lest somehow you could manage 

In every bed to be,

There could be no advantage

To banning sodomy.

-FJ said...

Plato, "Charmides"

I shall now be more at home with you and shall be better able to explain the nature of the charm, about which I felt a difficulty before. For the charm will do more, Charmides, than only cure the headache. I dare say that you have heard eminent physicians say to a patient who comes to them with bad eyes, that they cannot cure his eyes by themselves, but that if his eyes are to be cured, his head must be treated; and then again they say that to think of curing the head alone, and not the rest of the body also, is the height of folly. And arguing in this way they apply their methods to the whole body, and try to treat and heal the whole and the part together. Did you ever observe that this is what they say?

Yes, he said.

And they are right, and you would agree with them?

Yes, he said, certainly I should.

FreeThinke said...

Farmer, I don't doubt your sincerity, and I appreciate very much your taking the time to explain your reasoning, but if you are seriously concerned about the effects of rampant sexual promiscuity on public health and the inevitable cost it's bound to bring to "innocent" taxpayers, why zero in with such ferocity on "GAY MARRIAGE?"

Heterosexuals are every bit as apt –– thanks largely, I believe, to the dismal, coarsening, degenerative effects of ROCK 'n ROLL –– to engage in bizarre, indiscriminate, orgiastic sexual conduct as homosexual men.

You seem to want to believe that virtually all Gay Men are inherently more immoral, more self-indulgent, less principled, and less circumspect than any other segment of society.

In that regard I think you've made the same mistake so many others have made in assessing the merits of ALL Italians by the activities of La Cosa Nostra, the worth of ALL Jews by the obnoxious behavior of genuine sheenies, mockies and kikes, ALL Negroes by the behavior of thuggish, moronic, uneducable inner city niggers, ignorant field hands in the Old South and overly fertile Welfare Queens and the poor little bastards they produce, etc.

Suppose we judged ALL Caucasian peoples by the way toothless rednecks in Appalachia and the Ozarks live their lives? Suppose we judged ALL U.S. presidents by the barbarous, bloodthirsty, policies eagerly enacted by Andrew Jackson –– or the arrant dishonesty and short-sighted stupidity of Woodrow Wilson –– or the flagrant out-of-conrol antics of Warren Gamaliel Harding and the compulsive sexual misconduct of JFK and William Jefferson Clinton?

When we choose to believe that only the very worst aspects and most unflattering elements involving any designated group adequately characterize, and are in fact emblematic of that entire group, we cease, I fear, to be rational.

I should think the, apparently fervent, desire of homosexual men and women to live openly in legally-sanctioned committed relationships would indicate the exact opposite of the degrading behavior you find so odious and so dangerous. AIDS does not discriminate between heterosexual and homosexual behavior.

I strongly suspect, by the way, that the pattern of bizarre carryings on and out-and-out craziness many gay men fall into, particularly in urban areas, is likely the direct result of never having been permitted any legitimate social channels in which they could express themselves honestly without fear. Being subject to relentless persecution (and there really is no other word for it) for countless centuries is bound to have a profoundly deleterious effect on those involved.

The way Negroes in the USA tend to behave is certainly a direct result of their having been brought here in chains and treated as hough they had no more value than cattle and beasts of burden.

An NO I am not, nor will I ever BECOME a "liberal," but I most certainly do believe in Fairness and Decency as primary aims in a just society.

The ONLY exception I would make at present regards the treatment of Muslims in the West. Their benighted system of belief poses a FAR greater danger to our society than homosexuality, even in its more extreme forms.

-FJ said...

They ARE different. Please educate yourself

Dr. Joseph finally came to the conclusion that in the vast majority of cases, homosexuality is also a function of the sexual differentiation of the brain (Joseph, 1996, 2000). That is, it is his scientific opinion that homosexuality is not due to a lack of "morals" or a predilection to engage in sin. Rather, it is a function of the sexual differentiation of the limbic system--which controls all aspects of sexuality. Homosexuals have a "limbic system" which is organized in a "female" and in some respects, "hyperfemale" pattern, such that in consequence, male homosexuals respond sexually to the male body just as do normal women.

However, as the limbic system also governs all aspects of emotionality, in consequence, violence, mental illness, alcoholism, drug abuse, suicide, and other abnormalities are also common features of the "homosexual experience" as about 30% of the homosexual population suffer from these disorders.

Considered as a group, male homosexuals differ significantly from heterosexuals, and a significant MINORITY of homosexuals (including both male and female homosexuals) suffer from an inordinant degree of pathology including bizarre sexual pathologies and propensities for engaging in bizarre and harmful sex acts (e.g. fist fucking) that are conveniently labled "gay love."

Gert said...

Well said, FT.

Rhawn Joseph is a known quack. Gotta love also his use of pornographic fantasies [photos] as ‘illustrations’, aka ‘evidence’ for his ramblings! This stuff is almost certainly non-peer reviewed.

What Rhawn Joseph really is, is evidence for a conspiracy theory better known as ‘the Gay agenda’, which is particularly virulent in the US. I’ve come across countless manifestations of this on my many travels in the US blogosphere, one more ludicrous than the next risible one.

I think many of your concerns re. homosexuality and promiscuity are justified: male on male anal sex is the riskiest sexual behaviour and male on male promiscuity more prevalent than other sexual behaviours.

But for a rational person you don’t half try and drag everything and the kitchen sink into your discourse. I see parallels with a struggle I’m involved in: anti-Zionism. Some anti-Zionists tend to attribute enormous importance to stuff that’s peripheral at best and unproven at worst. Classic antisemites tend also to see Israel’s rather banal colonial project as proof of ‘Jewish perfidity’: they are demonstrably wrong.

Making homosexuality socially acceptable will, there is no doubt in my mind, strongly reduce the worst excesses that it can sometimes lead to.

Not that’s it’s a strong argument but I think your gay brother and son will be with me on this. Or rather: I’m with them.

Gert said...

That should have been:

Well said, FT.


... in case it wasn't clear.

-FJ said...

Rhawn Joseph is a "known quack" only when he writes outside of his field of expertise. Have you ever read the correspondence between Sigmund Freud and his close associate Wilhlem Fliess? I have. Should all of Freud's contributions to psychiatry have been discounted because of some of the theories he and Fliess talked about?

And despite any "quackery" on Joseph's part, homosexual brain differentiation is a known scientifically confirmed "fact", not some "quackery" about alien life forms.

Rhawn Joseph is at some considerable "advance" to his peers in the fields of psychiatry and neurology, much as Freud and Einstein were in advance of their contemporaries. And his scientific papers and textbooks on neurology have been EXTENSIVELY peer reviewed.

I have spent a considerable amount of time studying Neurophilosophy and developing my own theories as to how the brain functions. The paradigm that I use cannot/will not ever be "scientifically proven". But it does explain much of human behaviour to me.

Gert said...

The man Rhawn Joseph Phd. appears to be a bit of a ‘serial’ conspiracy theorist. Jeff Rense would blush… or maybe not.

-FJ said...

I don't deny that. But to call him a "quack" is a bit much. He has been extensively peer reviewed.

Gert said...

Should all of Freud's contributions to psychiatry have been discounted because of some of the theories he and Fliess talked about?

Definitely not but there’s much of Freud’s work that isn’t considered ‘valid’ anymore. To modern standards he relied far too much on observational data, not actual empirical data.

The fact that your original link quickly redirects to a 'buy my book!' page doesn't inspire me with great confidence either. No serious scientist does that, AFAIK.

-FJ said...

Serious scientists don't care about money? Really?

*rolls eyes*