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Ch. 1 - Rival Theories -- and Critical Assessment of Them 
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Genius


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There is something I would like to try and express . . . it occurred to me, while reading this section that were you to choose between the two - forget this jazz about throwing Freud in there; I think that's kinda' misplaced . . .

No matter which we chose - Christianity or Marxism - either system would see 'someone' telling everybody else what to do.

That 'someone', persons, that is, would gain in some way - don't think for a minute that the leaders of either practice wouldn't get the lion's share of the meat.

So there would still be . . . what would you call it?

CAPITALISM?

Yes! I would say so - because it is indeed a form of capitalism, in itself.



Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:22 pm
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WildCityWoman
So there would still be . . . what would you call it?

CAPITALISM?

Yes! I would say so - because it is indeed a form of capitalism, in itself.


From what little I know of Marxism it is not supposed to work like that...

But from history's example we see, like you put it, just another form of capitalism; the reason is because like all forms of socialism it does not take into account exceptional people. Natural leaders, geniuses and manipulators (both good and bad) will find ways to bend the rules to their favor; they always do, because they feel like they deserve more, in some cases it is true in others it is pure arrogance.

Regardless the result has always been the same, corruption followed closely by the total collapse of the system.

Later



Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:26 am
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Carly,

My copy hasn't arrived yet, but I can't resist joining the fray at this stage, and add a reference to something the book doesn't seem to mention.

You wrote:

Quote:
between Christianity and Marxism . . . some have suggested that the latter is as much a religion as the former.



I'll refer to an essay written by Renaud Camus , himself developing an idea by Alain Finkielkraut "L'Anti-racisme est le Communisme du XXIeme siecle"
(Anti-racism is the Communism of the twenty-first century).

The author's tenet is that people need ideologies and good causes to believe in, and when they turned away from Christianity in Europe, some still needed to believe, and turned to Communism.
Communism is an ideal about sharing. As Carly notes it turned to everybody having very little (though not nothing) but that's not the way it had been envisaged at first.

When it turned out to be a failure, people still needed to have a cause, and the author's thesis is that many turned to anti-racism.
Again an excellent cause: who could object to it?

At first it was all to the good, they did good work fighting racism, but now it sometimes feels like anti-racism is becoming an ideology in its own right at least in France).
Because of the moral prestige anti-racist organizations have, some of them seem to be enjoying a sense of power. It's not a power to do any real wrong, so this will never gain the negative influence of the previous ideology (marxism) but it's a power they sometimes use to prevent whoever is not one of them from speaking, or that they will use to ridicule whoever is not one of them and make him look like a pariah on the intellectual and moral scene.

For example, they sometimes condemn a writer using truncated quotations out of context, never bothering to read the book, and then will stage loud demonstrations outside the room where this writer is going to give a talk about, say, education.

Also, some anti-racists can feel tempted to use the respect and admiration their cause has got them to help a "cause" that was underlying their anti-racist fight: one of those organizations in France, the MRAP, supports Islam -- at one stage they had to get rid of one of their leaders when he openly used anti-semitic rhetoric, so he left, but the pro-islam bias, which should not be the aim of an anti-racist association, has remained.


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Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:40 am
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The article Ophelia summarized for us sounds provocative. It makes us humans sound expert at shape-shifting ideologically in order to obtain a social advantage. With an unassailable cause as a cover, I guess it would indeed be possible to pursue the "real" agenda, or a least a side agenda, behind cover.



Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:24 pm
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Ha!

Like joining the Peace Corps and the first thing you're issued is a gun.

People who are really strong on anti-racism, seem to be racists themselves.

i. e.

I remember being at a discussion group at the library when a black writer made the statement that . . .

MOST CANADIANS ARE RACISTS.

I was kinda' pissed off - for her to generalize like that? To me, that's a form of racism in itself. It's not fair to say something like that.

Another library group incident . . . a young asian woman showed up one of our writing groups - she read from a short story she'd written.

She'd written the story in first person and it was about an asian woman and a white guy, in bed together.

There was conversation between the couple and he said something she didn't like.

Somewhere near the end of her story she said 'well, all white guys are like that'.

I didn't care for that attitude.

But what really ticked me off was that nobody in the group objected to it. Didn't the white guys at the table feel slightly insulted?

Same with the other group - not one person in that group objected to the Jamaican woman saying that about Canadians.

Me? I just got up and walked out the door to have a cigarette; that was my way of objecting. A person like that isn't worth listening to.



Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:44 am
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OK, Carly, since this is fun time I'll tell the community about one of the most annoying things that happened to me in my year in California.

I usually tried to avoid going to meetings at school, but one evening I got caught by a clever administrator lying in wait for innocents like me and I just had to walk into the hall and listen to the talk.

The speaker was a black man, and I could see a lot of colleagues that I didn't know had come from other schools to listen to him.

Most of it was rubbish and provocation IMO but the most interesting thing was the way people reacted to it.

It seemed to me that the man thought he was Martin Luther King himself, coming back to save the world (but with nothing to say), and the audience reacted as if he were!

At one point he announced "Not every black teacher is good, and not every white teacher is bad"! (lots of "Amen" and "Thank you" from the audience).

The next day a colleague from New York asked me what I'd thought. I said this was some of the worst rubbish I'd ever heard. She laughed and said "Oh, you have to take this with a grain of salt."

The teachers at my school were remarkably unfrazzled by it all, so I suppose they'd heard it before.

If it was now I'd laugh, but at the time I was furious.


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Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:42 am
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Sorry I didn't get back to this thread till just now - sprained my ankle, for one thing, so I was on percodan and sleeping for about a day and a half.

Now? Well, it is a sprain, but my regular foot doctor says it's also a torn ligature - seeing as how I already have big trouble with that foot, I've gotta' watch it!

Not much walking around will be happening and I gotta' wear my orthapaedic shoes, even when just on my way from the table to the bathroom.

So I'll be here at my desk a while - ha ha!

---------------------------------

Yes, that too sounds like an annoying meeting you went to. What's really annoying is the way people get forced into sitting through meetings like that.

If you're in any kind of employment grabbing program, and you've got to attend all meetings, well, you've got to listen to everything.

I once got into a fight with a Human Rights speaker who was brought in to speak at a job-search club I was in. What the speaker didn't like was anybody asking questions, but I asked questions.

She rambled off all the things that people had rights about, in the workplace and I asked her what steps a person could actually take if an employer abused these rights - what would happen?

Well, you'd report it, of course - but what would be done about it, I asked.

Well, actually . . . nothing really . . .

I said 'well, what's the point of having the 'human rights' then?

She was really mad and told me that I could leave the room for the rest of the meeting if I wanted - I did just that - went out of the building and had a coffee. Some of the others trailed along with me.

It was infuriating to think that she was allowed to speak to all those people -most of them political refugees (at that time). Telling them they had all these rights, leading them to believe something would be there for them - oh, yeah - sure.

And she gets paid for that??!!

Geesh!

-----------------------------------------

I once worked at a law office in downtown Toronto - I was there for the week. The lady lawyer who hired me told me they were going to choose a full time law secretary this way . . . by the end of the week, there was no mention of what I was to be paid for this time. The lawyer just kept saying 'oh, we'll get to that - I don't have time to talk about it right now'.

By talking to some of the young women there, I found out she was doing that with a lot of people - mostly immigrants - people who wouldn't dare talk back, kinda' thing . . . she wasn't paying anybody anything.

I didn't stay there, of course and when I sent my bill - 15 bucks an hour - she didn't want to pay it. I had to get Labour Board into it - it turned out they had a big file on this lawyer - finally they made her pay me minimum wage for my time there.

What a sleaze.

And when I went to pick up my cheque, I found the same girls were there working - and a new one on the reception desk - a Chinese girl. I told the girl to make sure she was going to get paid.



Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:15 am
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Hello Carly,

Sorry about your ankle, I hope you'll feel better soon.

My copy of the book has arrived now, it's not a big book, so I have no excuses for not reading it... this would be a challenge, as I've always found philosophy difficult.

Now, I don't know know how to interpret the following incident in relation to the very serious philosophical theories written about in the book, but when I clicked to give you some karma (in admiration for leading a discussion about what is for me so difficult a book) my screen just went black. When I switched the computer on again though, your karma had increased. ;-)


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Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:17 am
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My karma increased?

Well, I guess I was doin' something right - ha ha!



Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:19 pm
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Post The answer is -
The answer is - there is no answer only belief. The author of this book is rehashing the same topics from within the eggshell of a paradigm that presupposes fininte mankind can answer infinite questions. I address this issue in more depth on my BookTalk blog Lawrenceindestin. I hope to see you there and please leave your comments. Thanks,Lawrence



Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:05 pm
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Is there one thread where we can reply to your blogs, Lawrence?

If so, I might think about spending some time with this.

I don't like to just hop into the individual book discussions with my comments on it.

You can send me a PM with a url, if you like.



Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:45 am
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Post contact me
Dear Wild City
I am so computer illiterate I don't know what a PM or a url is. Cris has allowed me to have a blog. Go to the members' blogs and at that screen my blog is Lawrenceindestin. You may leave your comments there. So far there are two posts. A posting space apparently only has so much room. Since I'm presenting my thoughts in Chapters and the last post appears first just scroll down to the first post to start at the beginning. I'm very happy my thoughts interest you. I look forward to your comments. Lawrence



Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:31 pm
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Yeah, but I'm talking about 'replies' . . . I don't think we're supposed to just put replies on blogs into the individual books discussions.

Is there a particular place you want replies (responses) on your blogs?



Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:57 am
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Now, see up at the top of the screen where the first green strip is? Under there is a spot where it usually says 'you have no new messages'. It's between 'profile' and 'log out'.

Look up there and you will see that you DO have new messages. Click on it and you'll see a message from me . . . I just sent it so you'll know what PM's are.



Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:00 am
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I'll read your blogs later on - I think you're supposed to reply in that 'shout box' at the side. I'll put any comments I have there.

Right now, it's time for my nap . . . and a bit of reading.

(I even settled down to a bit of my own writing this morning - right prouda' meself!)



Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:19 am
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