Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"What's the frequency?"

One reason that a society of independent small business men is preferred to one of government agencies and large protected concessions is that the former give more opportunity for the social correction of misconduct. Remember when OJ went into a franchise restaurant and the owner told him to leave? If that was a government feeding plan cafeteria the manager would have been unable to express any such opinion. The fact is that while government workers are often rude in small things they can not challenge individuals about larger things. Here is another example, Dan Rather goes into the airport and passes through security. If anyone says anything that he objects to they are out of a job. Consider what would happen if the Security was not run by TSA at the behest of enormous airlines that avoid liability risk, but by Fred's Security Service under a contract with Happy Skies Charter Air. In the second case there is a chance that if Mr Rather showed up the Supervisor could at least loudly order his staff to check everything real carefully because this person had already dealt in forged documents. Fred of Fred's can't sit in judgement on everyone because he has a business to run but he at least has the freedom to speak up when he wants to.

character should not be judged so much by someone’s goals but rather by the means they use

Well said, that was part of my point behind my shared unhappiness about poor conduct by a Host at a party. The best definition of a Gentleman I ever read, I think it comes from Anna Karenina, was that a "Gentleman is a man who strives never to be unintentionally rude." When the time is propitious and the achievement is worth while then by all means be rude to Dan Rather. When the occasion is one where you are expected to be gracious to guests then think only of what will make others happy.

A proper Liberal Education did not impart a vast store of technically useful information but it did provide a framework and examples that could serve as a guide to conduct. The idea behind "muscular christianity" was that well trained young men would at least think of ends and means before choosing a course of action and on the margin would tend to avoid the easier path to reach a questionable goal.

Personally I am not made completely comfortable by some of the evangelism we sometimes have in here but I am aware of how when properly guided that spirit can lead to conduct that is both disciplined and tolerant. There are few major cultures that do not support dealing honestly and justly with those who are strangers to the core community. Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism all would condemn Rather/Mapes' falsification for personal or even tribal gain. Even the extinct Nordic or Greco-Roman systems shared these standards. The position of Shinto is less clear to me and Confucian ethics did draw distinctions between duties to those close or in authority and strangers but that does not mean that dishonesty was condoned. The position of Scientology on this topic is also unclear to me.

In Communism, in Islam, and in some of the Native American tribal cultures, it is accepted to engage in deceit to gain an advantage over an outsider. The last are now marginalized and of mainly historical interest. Other small faith groups that espouse an unconventional view of morality exist, for example Crowley's Church of Satan. The first two global faiths mentioned in this paragraph are of course universal in their claims and both have the subjugation of rivals as a core principle. Judaism is not universal in its claims except at an abstract level. It has not routinely proselytized for over two thousand years. Christianity is a universal and proselytizing faith but it does not have the subjugation of others as a core principle and does not condone deceit to obtain a goal.

A few years ago there was a minor explosion aimed at TSA when Ted Kennedy came up on the "No Fly List." The fact was that he was on the list and it was no accident. An airline submitted his name for good cause. If Ted Kennedy got on your plane at 10 AM it was no big deal but if he got on your plane at 7 PM the he was an abusive drunk who refused to follow aircrew instructions and who groped the stewardesses. They were sick of it.

Aug 26, 2009 - 11:03 am

In The Portrat of Dorian Gray the monster within is revealed by a painting hidden in a locked room while the beast kept a fair appearance. In the case of Edward Kennedy his outward appearance displayed the corrupt monster within. The horror is that his followers refused to see reality and clung to the pretty pictures offered by the media.

Aug 26, 2009 - 1:05 pm

(who thinks wanna be Princesses love the Kennedys)
Parvenau princesses have no clue what a real aristocrat is. If you asked any real Duke or Earl or Baron or Roman Senator or Greek Hoplite what their job was they would all have had the same answer, farmer. An aristocrat was always an independent farmer with the wealth and leisure to serve the Sovereign.

Aug 26, 2009 - 1:29 pm

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