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January 23, 2008


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Hailing Coins upon the Needy

Interesting. A self-made auto-didact who extols a liberal education. A 'moderate' who mentions both Cicero and Deleuze in a single mini-essay without taking the obligatory potshot at Deleuze. He even utters the unmentionable word "capitalism." Although he seems run up against his own gentle limits here

JJ Commoner

Amen to this, from Payton's "Dissent" ...

The moral of this? Respect rational discourse; protect it; use it wisely. It's the best instrument for peace we have.

Unfortunately, impossible ever since the WWF became the dominant informing source for the core American cultural "meme".

Hooped we are, I tells ya.

JJ Commoner

A tidbit more ...

Marshall McLuhan (about 40 or more years ago) once noted that television would shred the fabric of society as we knew / know it and that had we known of its effects we would never have permitted it (television) to be invented.

The medium is the message, indeed.

Hateful Curses and Needling

um. yeah, but shrinking from the "violence" of an act in favor of a discourse is like saying the Boston Tea Party was unconstitutional.

JJ Commoner

Was there a Constitution (of any sort) when the Boston Tea Party happened ?

I thought the BTP happened in 1773 and the Constitution was signed in 1787.

How would it / could it have been judged as constitutional or not ?


I can't imagine that HC&N doesn't know that. The way we learn the story, the Revolution, much less the Constitution would never have happened without the BTP. I suspect the point was something like, "To make an omlet you have to break some eggs". If the revolutionaries had shrunk from participating in that event, the rest would never have followed, and the rest most certainly involved real violence as well.

If I may interpret further, as they contemplated the BTP, the image of a future Constitutional regime may have come up, and even if it didn't isn't the principle of the rule of law important even to revolutionaries? Don't you have an obligation to stay within the bounds of the law that you would create to maintain the free state intended after the revolution is complete?

Thoreau's writings on civil-disobedience represents the beginnings of this thread rising up again after the rule of law is re-established. The American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence are the undergirdings of the Constitution. Revolution is necessarily outside of the rule of law, but the question of "when it the course of human events it becomes necessary".

Lincoln stood for the principle that wanting to keep slaves is not one of those conditions and fought a war with the would be revolutionaries of the Confederacy. Is that true because the North won the war and suppressed that revolution?


Natural law, God's law, the laws or rules of justice founded on reason - all those could be invoked on behalf of a higher law. Against that you have the Roman saying, "The law is harsh, but it is the law." Meaning in certain regimes injustice is the rule, or injustice rules. Such regimes consolidate power, reduce civil liberties, engage in constant surveillance, use torture and intimidatation, and suppress dissent. In such dark times, you rebel against the rule of law at your own risk. I am disappointed that the patriots at the Boston Tea Party painted their faces and dressed up as American Indians. I would respect them more if they had been "transparent and accountable." To dress up in masquerade draws the whole revolutionary project into disrepute as far as I am concerned. Sock puppets like Publius or Citizen are cowardly. If the patriots had been less tricky, the rule of law would have prevailed and we could have had our Aristocracy without detouring through Democracy to get there.


Very funny, Phil.

JJ Commoner

Sock puppets like Publius or Citizen are cowardly. If the patriots had been less tricky, the rule of law would have prevailed and we could have had our Aristocracy without detouring through Democracy to get there.

Eggs Ackley. What were they thinking ? Dirty f%/*&ing hippies !


Treason against the Crown was a quite unpropitious beginning. No wonder the great experiment of democracy ended badly.

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