Authoritarianism

reason_passion
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Authoritarianism

If you do something wrong, isn't it common decency to apologize and seek to address the wrong done to the other? Well, unfortunately, that rule doesn't seem to apply when it comes to the U.S. government. For the full article, click on the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/29/washington/29rendition.html?th&emc=th

Here's an example of what happens when moral superiority is determined by the ability to use force. A man, who has been universally acknowledged as being wrongfully imprisoned, declares he was not only taken from his family but tortured and, when it was determined that he wasn't who it was supposed, left to return home by his own means. Deplorable does not begin to describe the decadence in morality that this shows our government capable of lowering itself to.

What makes it worse is that when the man wishes to simply be apologized to, the government claims that to do so would undermine national security. As pointed out in the article, how is it a matter of national security to acknowledge and compensate the illegitimate incarceration of this man?

But see, this is how the administration thinks. National security is synonymous with their moral superiority. To question one is to question the other. This explains the often repeated phrase that in times of war, the president is not to be questioned, because to do so undermines the nations ability to wage war. For those who don't see the ridiculousness here, let me tell an analogy. Take, for instance, a basketball player who is playing badly and who then gets criticized to fix his game or let someone else do it. Would it not be weird to hear the player tell you that criticizing him detracts from his ability to play the game? Of course it would. Criticism is not an obstruction, it is an attempt to understand more fully what is going wrong and seek to address the problems. Criticism is only ever dismissed out of hand when the person or party under question believes that they are incapable of being wrong.

And there it is. Anybody remember the debates between George W. Bush and John Kerry, when the question was asked of Bush as to whether he had ever made mistakes? Remember his answer? That's right, he couldn't think of any. Do you know what another example of a government leader incapable of admitting he makes mistakes? Hitler. The ideologies are patently parallel and with similar results, i.e. the death and destruction of entire nations.

Parents, teachers and pastors talk about the moral turpitude of this nation, but if people are to learn by example, perhaps our leaders should hold themselves to a higher standard. But then again, since Bush declares "God" to be on his side, perhaps his morality is the same as the Deity, right because he says so and has the force to back it up.

And yes, that's called being a bully. And what do bullies do? Precisely what happened to the man from Germany.

Every one of your relationships to man and to nature must be a definite expression of your real, individual life corresponding to the object of your will. -Erich Fromm


Insidium Profundis
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Quote:And there it is.

Quote:
And there it is. Anybody remember the debates between George W. Bush and John Kerry, when the question was asked of Bush as to whether he had ever made mistakes? Remember his answer? That's right, he couldn't think of any. Do you know what another example of a government leader incapable of admitting he makes mistakes? Hitler. The ideologies are patently parallel and with similar results, i.e. the death and destruction of entire nations.

My days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle.

Quit with the fucking hyperbole. I invoke Godwin's law. Stop making unreasonable comparisons to Hitler. The vast majority of leaders never admitted to mistakes because it would make them seem weak.

An open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded.


reason_passion
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hyperbole

While I appreciate any and all criticism, if it is done in an open and constructive manner, I'm not sure what you're getting at. You make the claim that my comparison is unreasonable, but don't spend the time to tell me why. Care to do so?

Second, your supposition that leaders don't admit to mistakes because it makes them seem weak is an alternative interpretation to the scenario under discussion. I am not discussing leaders in general, but the current administration in particular. Thus, analogies to previous leaders who labored under similar ideological fallacies is a legitimate means of showing how such thinking can in fact be used. The reason I think it was justified is found in what I wrote, which goes to the religio-political mindset that is inherent in fascism that both Hitler and Bush hold themselves too.

Every one of your relationships to man and to nature must be a definite expression of your real, individual life corresponding to the object of your will. -Erich Fromm


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Why not use Stalin? Why not

Why not use Stalin? Why not use Saddam? You are using Hitler because Hitler is so loaded to the brim with connotations of evil, destruction, genocide, and hell that anyone compared to him must surely be the Antichrist. The real reason you use Hitler is not that he makes a particularly effective comparison, but because everyone hates Hitler and you hate Bush.

If you think Bush is a dick, say so openly without resorting to a Nazi comparison. By the way, your comparison is useless because it is incredibly vague. As mentioned earlier, the vast majority of leaders are reluctant to admit their mistakes (and I gave the justification for this also), so singling out the single most loathed man in history as a comparison to Bush, who is rather mediocre and incompetent, is intellectually dishonest.

Quote:
The reason I think it was justified is found in what I wrote, which goes to the religio-political mindset that is inherent in fascism that both Hitler and Bush hold themselves too.

You're serious. You think that a reasonable analogy can be made between the policies of Bush and those of Hitler? When was the last time Bush gave a speech demonizing the inferior races? When was the last time someone was censored for speaking out against Bush?

Making these pitifully weak and emotionally loaded Nazi references only weakens any substance that your argument might have otherwise possessed.

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reason_passion
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comparisons

I can't use Stalin because he wasn't a fascist and the same goes for Saddam Hussein. Using them as an analogy would have been useless in making the point I was doing. Granted, I could have used Mussolini, but few people remember him as readily as Hitler.

The effectiveness of the comparison is found in the ideological notions that the comparison brings up. Hitler believed himself incapable of being wrong since he was divinely given a mandate to make the German nation strong and the German people pre-eminent. Bush has declared he was given a divine mandate to fight the "war on terror", which results in the nationalistic pride of America supposedly being the one and only true example of how democracy is supposed to work and by inference, the American people and their thinking must therefore be superior. This is shown more clearly in recent statements by the administration that the problem of Iraq now is not our lack, but the problem of the Iraqi people, since clearly they are backward and incapable of promoting freedom. There's a reason why the Arab people have often been referred to as "sand-niggers" by the armed forces.

Your charge of intellectual dishonesty simply doesn't fit. If indeed there were no comparisons to be made and the analogy was used simply to incite an emotional response, then it would stick, but as I have clearly shown, that wasn't my intent and the comparisons are quite valid.

As to when was the last time someone was censored for speaking against Bush? Are you serious? Have you not been paying attention to the news? News agencies are routinely not allowed access to information; people like Olbermann are sent death threats and white powder; political rallies are broken up by police and many are fined; others are kicked out of public forums for asking pertinent questions; and groups that are opposed to the war have been put on the "terror group watch list." And do we even have to open up the can of worms that is the Detainee Act?

Every one of your relationships to man and to nature must be a definite expression of your real, individual life corresponding to the object of your will. -Erich Fromm


todangst
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Insidium Profundis

Insidium Profundis wrote:
Quote:
And there it is. Anybody remember the debates between George W. Bush and John Kerry, when the question was asked of Bush as to whether he had ever made mistakes? Remember his answer? That's right, he couldn't think of any. Do you know what another example of a government leader incapable of admitting he makes mistakes? Hitler. The ideologies are patently parallel and with similar results, i.e. the death and destruction of entire nations.

My days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle.

Quit with the fucking hyperbole. I invoke Godwin's law. Stop making unreasonable comparisons to Hitler. The vast majority of leaders never admitted to mistakes because it would make them seem weak.


There's a difference between hesitating to concede mistakes and outright denying reality.

In all seriousness, I'd compare Bush to Chairman Mao when it comes to preferring ideology to reality.

Here's somone who can back me up:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a6_rvL0NRI

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


reason_passion
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leaders

I, too, would prefer the comparison to Mao, at least in the context of denying reality. But as far as ideological foundations are concerned, Mao was a totalitarian, not a fascist and it's fascism that Bush is promoting.

Every one of your relationships to man and to nature must be a definite expression of your real, individual life corresponding to the object of your will. -Erich Fromm


Hambydammit
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I can tell I've been too

I can tell I've been too involved in too many debates recently. My only thought in reading this thread is: "Ok, so Bush is either a Turd Sandwich or Fried Shit on a Shingle. Can we just flush him down the toilet?"

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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todangst
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reason_passion wrote:I, too,

reason_passion wrote:
I, too, would prefer the comparison to Mao, at least in the context of denying reality. But as far as ideological foundations are concerned, Mao was a totalitarian, not a fascist and it's fascism that Bush is promoting.

Ah, ok, good point. Watch the video tho, if you haven't already. It's quite good.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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reason_passion
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video

An excellent video. Would be interested if he read Hannah Arendt's "Totalitarianism". I think what the man says goes to the heart of absolutist thinking, which seems to require the projected image of perfection.

Definitely a good synopsis and points to consider.

Every one of your relationships to man and to nature must be a definite expression of your real, individual life corresponding to the object of your will. -Erich Fromm