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Author Topic: Slippery Goldberg
Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Slippery Goldberg
on: April 16, 2018, 08:50
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Let us give praise to the few who are outside and above The Daily Drama. I saw that Jonah Goldberg was hawking a new book. I didn’t read the article. I skimmed it and then skipped to the comments where I ran across this one:

This article and presumably Golberg's book is yet another conservative jeremiad, that gives a long mournful list of problems, without having any real constructive solutions. If you don't have a constructive solution, don't bother.

Goldberg laments that politics has moved away from reasoned deliberation and persuasion, and towards a uglier + dumber form of tribal combat. What's Goldberg's solution? Simply use his prestigious media platform to write op-eds complaining about it?

How does one with a straight face embrace a core tenet of the Left (gay marriage, thus the idea that biology and families are not central) and write a book titled “Suicide of the West”? His basic tenet is (one I would certainly agree is central):

The story of Western civilization, and really civilization itself, is the story of productively sublimating human nature.

But the rest of what he wrote is the typical word salad of online media. He’s selling books, not solutions. It’s not the elements here and there aren’t true or that the analysis is wrong. It’s just that when a bullet is speeding toward your head, analyzing the lead content, the type of bullet, how fast it is going, etc., is beside the point.

This is feckless “conservatism” as its worst. I haven’t read the entire article, but I would be surprised is there is any prescription for what to do. If someone wants the read the entire article and summarize it better than I have, please do.

Brad-
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Slippery Goldberg
on: May 16, 2018, 08:08
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Jonah Goldberg asks a good question which could be summed up as: Because all you supposed conservatives voted for Trump, maybe the real conservatives are the young people coming up through the Progressive Farm System (our universities and liberal culture) who care more about “values.”

Our fair-minded Timothy can surely tell me whether that’s a fair assessment of Jonah’s article, The Right’s Generation Gap:

Young people understand that some of the things old people see as “political correctness” aren’t necessarily the product of a Marxist virus that somehow escaped a laboratory at Berkeley. Some of it reflects an attempt to craft decent manners in the increasingly diverse and egalitarian society that young people actually live in.

Timothy-
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Post Re: Slippery Goldberg
on: May 16, 2018, 08:49
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An interesting article. Young people do tend to be more idealistic, older people more realistic (due to a concept known as experience, from which sensible people learn). Of course, there's always the matter of what values you have. The leftist push toward equality of result is a value, after all -- it's just a very bad one, particularly because it's unattainable without a lot of violence (which doesn't end up working anyways). But you need education (about the past results of such efforts) and experience to realize that. Leftist ideologues never learn, at least they never learn anything that doesn't match their pre-existing ideology.

The young conservatives (what there are of them) are the future of the movement, of course, because eventually they will be alive and the old conservatives won't be. Of course, never-Trumper Goldberg is going to be happy with any group skeptical of Trump -- no matter what he accomplishes (mostly good so far), or whether the alternative is any better ethically/morally. (Is anyone in DC sexually moral? How could we really be sure about any of them?)

As for political correctness sometimes being a good thing instead of just a means of suppressing dissent against the leftist orthodoxy -- it would be nice if Goldberg would cite some examples of this. Perhaps his next article can fill the void.

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Post Re: Slippery Goldberg
on: May 16, 2018, 10:44
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The leftist push toward equality of result is a value, after all -- it's just a very bad one,…

Yes, I found Goldberg particularly squishy talking about “decent manners” without noting what values underly those manners. Yutes are particular fond of socialism which even a supposed conservative as Goldberg ought to know is bad for us, no matter what idealistic gloss that foolish yutes put on it.

I just thought the article was Goldberg unfurling the topgallant as he makes excuses for drifting ever leftward.

The young conservatives (what there are of them) are the future of the movement, of course, because eventually they will be alive and the old conservatives won't be.

My view is cynical. “Freedom” for future “conservative” yutes will likely fall in line with Europe where they dump tea into the harbor because they’re not getting “free” internet access but (like libertarians) seemed not to chafe at all at the heavy bonds of socialism in all the big stuff. Steyn has written clearly about this. They feel “free” and well off in Europe if the state takes care of all the adult functions and the individual is free to obsess over the color of iPhone case he or she will buy. It’s the fish, to some extent, finding what comfort he can inside the confines of a goldfish bowl.

Yes, Goldberg would come across as less slippery should he cite examples where the new “civility” of yute is not a function of political correctness. My first thought, of course, would be “Any civility they mimic or reproduce was not invented by them but is the very bedrock of the Judeo-Christian/conservative outlook — which most have rejected thoroughly.”

Timothy-
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Post Re: Slippery Goldberg
on: May 16, 2018, 10:50
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An excellent analysis. Goldberg has his good points, but he's slowly slipping leftward, and shows it here. No doubt that's why he's so pleased by the young moderates whom he considers conservative. That's where he is now.

Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: Slippery Goldberg
on: May 16, 2018, 11:58
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Yes, I found Goldberg particularly squishy talking about “decent manners” without noting what values underly those manners.

In E.B. White's, "The Once and Future King" there is a scene where Sir Percival immediately rides off after saving a couple of females from some evil knight or just a bad guy. The girls are surprised at Percival's lack of manners by not waiting for their thanks.

I believe Percival's companion explains that manners are necessary in a corrupt society in order to smooth out human interaction. Manners are artifice.

As Sir Percival is completely pure of heart, expects no thanks and has no ulterior motives (he only wishes to do good for good's sake) manners are not necessary.

I find that profound. I think Percival acts like a true Christian. He does not do things because he fears damnation or because he seeks reward. He does what is right because it is right.

Timothy-
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Post Re: Slippery Goldberg
on: May 16, 2018, 12:14
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That's T. H. White, not E. B. White. I had that in high school, and later added The Sword in the Stone (mainly for Merlin's duel with Madame Mim, which is left out of the omnibus) and The Book of Merlin (which was entirely left out of the omnibus except for the visits to the ants and geese, which were added to the omnibus edition of The Sword in the Stone to replace the duel). I don't recall Sir Percival being much of a character; that may have been one of the adventures of Sir Lancelot, most of them in The Ill-Made Knight, the third volume in the series.

Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: Slippery Goldberg
on: May 16, 2018, 12:24
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There are only two "pure" characters in the Arthurian legend. One is Galahad and the other is Percival. Lancelot is anything but pure. So the character in question could only have been Galahad or Percival. I would have to check my copy of the book, but I am pretty sure Percival is the correct character.

Timothy-
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Post Re: Slippery Goldberg
on: May 16, 2018, 13:02
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Lancelot was definitely impure, but in his adventures (at least in White's book; I haven't read Malory) at times came close. And he was the protagonist of a whole book in the series. White did play around with the Arthurian legend, especially with his use of it to deal with certain aspects of modern politics (it's no accident that Mordred in his revolt seems to combine John Ball with a form of nationalism, using the fylfot as a symbol). I believe there's a reference to him meeting the Green Knight, thus taking one of Sir Gawaine's adventures, so taking one of Percival's would be no surprise.

Brad-
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Post Re: Slippery Goldberg
on: May 16, 2018, 19:50
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I find that profound. I think Percival acts like a true Christian. He does not do things because he fears damnation or because he seeks reward. He does what is right because it is right.

I really need to finish that book one of these days. I think I got to the point where Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film (I forget his name) finally slays his monster. I think that’s about three-fifths into it or so. And I know the book is going to be dissolution and death from there on out so I sort of lost interest.

Mr. Kung, one thing I’ve learned from life (especially from online communication) is that it is nearly impossible for most people to separate the idea of “social nicety” (or public opinion) from “absolute good.” And I don’t mean just being able to distinguish between self-serving motives (or good as defined by public or peer opinion) and things that are absolutely good, tricky as that often is.

Instead, I mean that far too many people don’t or can’t acknowledge that there is this difference at all. When you brought up the episode of Percival as an example, you presented yourself as a person who is not totally insane. Yes, yes…I know. I smother you with compliments. But I mean it is just rare to meet someone who knows he is staring into a mirror instead of (like birds will often do) not understand that it’s just a mirror and will try to pick a fight with that other bird they are seeing.

Granted, part of absolute good is to recognize that people are easily offended and thus to not cause a ruckus if it is of no use. Saying “thank you” to some asshole clerk in the department store isn’t necessarily false, fake, or giving in. Goodness combined with wisdom means in trivial matters we don’t have to rub somebody’s nose in their error just to make us feel better about ourselves.

Life is complex, yeah? But look at how “simple” the simple-minded Social Justice Warriors have made things. It’s so simple in their eyes that they have literally gone insane, not to mention that they are anything but virtuous.

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