Van Harvey

  • The Frauds of Free Trade, and the possible uses of Tariffs

    As someone who holds Free Trade in high regard, I’m about sick of all of those on all sides of the issue, who toss the term about as if it holds no further meaning or purpose than to serve their personal political agendas. For instance, there are the …

  • Remembering Memorial Day

    From my Memorial Day post seven years ago, that to properly memorialize those who’ve lost their lives in military service to our nation, we need to honor not only their lives lost, but also to honor what it was that they put their lives at such risk fo…

  • Remembering Memorial Day

    From my Memorial Day post seven years ago, that to properly memorialize those who’ve lost their lives in military service to our nation, we need to honor not only their lives lost, but also to honor what it was that they put their lives at such risk fo…

  • Kanye Tweets the world upside down – Good things in unexpected places

    So. Kanye West. He’s Tweeted the world upside down over the last few days, hasn’t he? The reactions from talking heads have been as predictable, as his tweets were unpredictable, with,

    • The Left, recently hopeful that he’d run for POTUS in 2024, is upset that he’s either stupid, drug addicted, or has gone insane,
    • The Right, quite naturally – on the basis of his tweeting track record of almost an entire week – wants to welcome him (which is not to say ‘use him‘… of course, perish the thought) as a ‘Fellow Conservative!‘, as a ‘Friend!‘, and maybe even as a Philosopher to ‘rock the vote’ with,
    • The Realists (AKA: Cynics in drag), are laughing at everyone because they just know that he’s obviously just tweeting to play everyone for fools in order to get publicity for his upcoming album.

    Me? I get to brush off all of those scenarios and simply enjoy his Tweets. Sorry folks, but I can thrill over a select few of Kanye’s Tweets (reading tweets on ‘free thinking’ …isn’t for me), without having to imagine that I somehow know anything more about him than I do (or don’t). But I can enjoy these Tweets even more, because of something more that I know about the thinking that underlies those tweets, which Kanye himself may or may not know. I’ll explain in a moment.

    And I’m also untroubled by the fact that I’ve never cared for Kanye West: not for his recordings (which are mysteriously categorized under ‘Music’), or for the words he chants, or the family he married into. I deeply dislike his public thugy persona, and I know of no reasons whatsoever for me to think that he’s either a ‘Conservative‘ (whatever that may be), or even that he’s now a friend to the Right.

    Best of all: None of that matters!

    Whatever his motives might be, Kanye West, beginning with just a few Tweets in support of Candace Owens, and Donald Trump, has exposed the rot and brittleness of The Left’s facade, and in the responses which they couldn’t help themselves from making, the Left has exposed deep fissures in their pro-regressive edifice, any one of which could bring their carefully crafted Politically Correct Culture crashing down around us.

    How? Look at what he Tweeted.

    One Tweet was that he likes the way Candace Owens thinks
    I love the way Candace Owens thinks

    — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 21, 2018

    Candace Owens is a young conservative woman who doesn’t equate her black skin with a Democrat brand. She’s a Director Of Communications with Turning Point USA, and her thinking has a talent for nailing truths to viral soundbites and memes, such as ‘victim mentality vs victor mentality‘, and “I’m not ‘Far Right’, I’m Free“.

    .@TPUSA’s Director Of Communications @RealCandaceO is Destroying Leftist Lies And Changing The Future For Millions Of Americans!

    JOIN THE MOVEMENT! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
    👉 https://t.co/sBNSeZoOwM 👈 pic.twitter.com/Jx5zccQuyi

    — Turning Point USA (@TPUSA) April 24, 2018

    Far right? Allow me to clarify: I believe the black community can do it without hand-outs. I believe the Democrats have strapped us to our past to prevent us from our futures. And I won’t stop fighting until all black Americans see that.
    I’m not far right—I’m free. pic.twitter.com/wtqCuYPtM2

    — Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) April 21, 2018

    Another Tweet was that he isn’t going to be bullied into hating Donald Trump, and isn’t going to submit to popular pressure to hate him. Boom.

    I don’t care what Kanye’s personal politics are, or his motivations for tweeting these tweets, and I have no idea WTH Dragon Blood is supposed to mean, but I do know what the rest of that means, and what it implies, and I’m telling you that those tweets are parachuting bedrock nuggets of America’s founding ideals, deep into pro-regressive held mindscapes where they have not been welcome, or even seen, for decades, and in the tweeting and retweeting, they are spreading the word of the fundamental requirements that are necessary for being an American. Period.

    You don’t have to agree with trump but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.

    — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018

    We can disagree upon everything else, but as long as the concepts behind those two tweets are encouraged to stand and be stood up for, that makes it possible for us to disagree upon everything else, and to do so reasonably, and peacefully. That alone is enough to panic the Pro-Regressive Left.

    Twitterosopher?
    Am I attributing too much to Kanye? Actually, I’m not attributing anything to Kanye, I’m simply pointing out what is contained in those characters he has been tweeting out into the Twitterverse, has been spreading like wildfire throughout all of social media, and that is a very good thing indeed.

    So let’s take a closer look at those tweets, there are two concepts that underlie the tweets above, which are what have been getting the most attention, and whether Kanye knows it or not,they are re-animating those lost ‘harmonizing sentiments’ of Jefferson’s that I’ve been posting upon recently, that America is being divided by what once united us – the concepts behind the 1st & 2nd Amendments to our constitution – because of those ideas that we’ve nearly lost. Kanye West’s Tweets, perhaps unknowingly, call to mind those individual rights that are protected by the 1st Amendment – the right to worship, speak and publish, freely, and in his insistence on standing his ground and asserting his right to do so no matter who opposes him, he is affirming the right to defend his exercising of those rights – and that is what is secured by the 2nd Amendment.

    None of the rights which our first two amendments secure for us, can stand without the other. The 1st Amendment can’t stand without the 2nd, while the 2nd can never have any worthwhile meaning, without the 1st – the one is necessary for the other to become possible. The Pro-Regressive Left is so furious, because his tweets directly threaten to obliterate the regimented GroupThink they’ve been working so hard to establish for over a century, over the minds of those beholden to them, and his Tweets have exposed visible fractures in that structure. Or, as Kanye tweeted yesterday:

    “We have freedom of speech but not freedom of thought.”

    and any attempt to remedy that, is War… or at least MemeWar.

    From TWEETS!

    As bad as it seems… it’s not as bad as it seems
    Earlier this week, I was trying to cheer up a very well informed friend of mine, one who’s extensive knowledge of how dark these times of ours truly are, occasionally misleads himself into despairing that nothing more than badness can be possible for our, or our children’s futures.

    Simply telling him to ‘Cheer up!’ wasn’t really an option, so I attempted to cheer him up by doubling down on his gloomy outlook. First I pointed out how our Rule of Law hadn’t died in the last few years, as he’d fretted, but that it was actually removed from life support and left to die no later than the 1930’s, and was soon replaced by the propagandized popular moods and opinions of the Rule of ‘SeemsOk’. Then I pointed out that people didn’t just begin to suck in the last decade, but that we’ve been getting progressively suckier and suckier, ever since our Educational System was also removed from life support and left to die, no later than the 1920’s, and so that the propagandizing of what is permitted as ‘SeemsOk’, has been getting Progressively worse every year, from then, to now. And of course, it wasn’t Barack Obama who corrupted our system in the last decade, but that, on the presidential level at least (the least important level, BTW), it was Bill Clinton who had gotten the process going in earnest, back in the 90’s, slickly tapping into the amoral, immoral and anti-American ideas that his generation had been taught to accept as ‘SeemsOk’. Bill & Hillary also did quite a bit to ensure that those lessons would continue to be intensified in the schools, and he began seriously injecting that rot of pro-regressive corruption deep into the FBI, and all of the layers of our federal bureaucracy, long before Obama came along. And of course as this has been a bi-partisan effort all along, we saw Bush 43 doubling down on Clinton’s educational rot, ensuring another decade of ever darker corruptions of what ‘SeemsOk’, into yet another generation of voters.

    Sure, Obama inflicted a massive amount of damage upon us, but only because he was able to exploit what had been so well prepared for him by his predecessors. And Americans, what with having had no child left behind from being educated into ignorance of what America is and means, and content with what now ‘SeemsOk’, they’ve been very much on board with our growing state of tyranny – as long as it ‘SeemsOk’ – for quite some time now.

    IOW, things are not only as bad as they seem, they’re worse – but that’s not as bad as it might seem.

    Yes, you’re forgiven for not noticing how I thought that might cheer either you or my friend up, but the cheerful point that I was building up to, is that as bad as things not only seem, but truly are, Evil is but a weak, frail edifice of brittle rot, and for all its fierce appearances, it is prone to sudden collapse at the first honest questioning of it. And that fragility increases the more powerful it becomes. To take evil seriously, is to credit it with something it will never have – credibility.

    It is we who are deluding ourselves (perhaps with just a touch of the ‘sin of pride’?), when we succumb to the hubris of thinking that we can possibly even be aware of everything that matters to how our future will turn out – that’s the very same thinking behind the socialists delusional beliefs that they can order a nation’s economy in five year plans – there is always more going on, than we do or can know about, and we’ve no possible way of knowing for certain how those unknowns might contribute to how things will eventually turn out (which, BTW, is an understanding which is at the root of what powers the prosperity of the Free Market).

    The fact remains, that for all of the lies of those in power, no matter how intricate, or how palpably strong and threatening they might be, they can be struck down in an instant (think the USSR coming down with the Berlin Wall), through the nudge of just a few honest questions, and a person’s willingness to stand up and ask them. Sure, you might my example of the USSR falling, with Tienanmen Square and China still standing, but that also makes my point: We have no way of knowing what will actually happen, so all we can do is what we know that we should do, and have something akin to faith that that will be enough, and as it should be. Yet the fact still remains, that one imperfect voice expressing the truth (think Alexander Solzhenitsyn), that resonates, can set veritable wildfires to burning away even the densest of ideologies. No matter how bad it looks, and may actually be, even the darkest regime’s power is never less than one truth away from complete disintegration, collapse, and extinction.

    Put more simply: The Lie cannot withstand the Truth, and if only people will dare to look upon both, then the Lie will crumble like a vampire in sunlight.

    My friend wasn’t buying any of this of course, he was in the mood to be depressed – 🙂 – but that doesn’t change the truth of the matter one whit.

    And so while I was busy failing to cheer up my friend, almost on cue, here came Kanye West, with Twitter in hand to part the gloom. No matter his thinking or purposes, he has not only exercised his freedom of speech, but has insisted upon standing firm in his right to do so, and that my friends, is Kryptonite to The Left. Everything they’ve built up in the popular mind, has been wounded – by TWEETS – to the point that they’re experiencing something akin to an arterial bleed in their Media Jugular vein.

    Again, just let that sink in. Tweets have them in a frenzied all-hands-on-deck panic!

    Are you beginning to get the picture? You see, there is NO downside to Kanye’s Tweets. He’s speaking his mind, and cluing others in to how unhinged the Left becomes when anyone, anyone, strays from what they want to permit you to think and do.

    Sure, that’s not to say that The Right won’t say or do something that snatches defeat from the jaws of victory, as is their want to do, but as far was what Kanye Tweeted… it’s all good.

    And I’m lovin’ it!

  • Alfie Evans, and Hannah Arendt’s Banality of Evil

    Just a couple of days ago, I shared a post about Hannah Arendt’s commentary on the trial of the captured Nazi, Adolph Eichmann, in “Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil” . What struck her about him, was the unexpectedly meek bureauc…

  • Alfie Evans and Hannah Arendt’s Banality of Evil

    Just a couple of days ago, I shared a post about Hannah Arendt’s commentary on the trial of the captured Nazi, Adolph Eichmann, in “Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil” . What struck her about him, was the unexpectedly meek bureaucratic demeanor of his thinking, which she famously called the ‘banality of evil’. Arendt took a lot of criticism over that comment, from people who thought that her failure to call him out as the snarling and fanged monster which they’d expected, was somehow letting him off the hook. I can’t help wondering if their desire to be presented with nothing less than a clearly identifiable monster mask, itself masked a desire to be kept from noticing those very real evils that our modern norms have been letting slip passed us, unnoticed in the street, the classroom and the workplace. The efforts of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) to put the infant Alfie Evans to death, is an excellent example of this (efforts which ‘paid off’ last night).

    That ‘banality of evil‘, it seems to me, can be seen loitering in plain sight amidst the news headlines and updated reports on the experiences of Alfie Evans’ family, with Britain’s ‘govt provided health care‘ service – that same service which we’re told that all ‘modern industrial societies‘ must provide to their citizens. In their case, ‘free health care’, has doomed their unwell infant, to die in the ‘care’ of the NHS, on their terms, according to their calculations – no matter the choices of his parents, and without regard to what expenses and aid that other people, and even nations, might be willing to provide in their stead. Take for instance, this press release, which reads like what might be a regurgitated mission statement, of their hospital:

    “Our top priority therefore remains in ensuring Alfie receives the care he deserves to ensure his comfort, dignity and privacy are maintained throughout. This includes working closely with Kate and Tom as they spend this precious time together with him.”

    In case you missed it, that’s a carefully worded bureaucratic way of saying,

    “Everyone please calm down, and let us give Kate and Tom some quality time with their child, as we force them to stand helplessly by as we follow procedure and put little Alfie to death.”

    This statement smacks of what Hannah Arendt described as Eichmann’s ‘inability to think’, an inability to connect words to deeds in a logically coherent manner, not out of stupidity, but from an effort to evade intentionality. Can you not see the hospital’s quote above, in her quote below?

    “I was struck by the manifest shallowness in the doer [ie Eichmann] which made it impossible to trace the uncontestable evil of his deeds to any deeper level of roots or motives. The deeds were monstrous, but the doer – at least the very effective one now on trial – was quite ordinary, commonplace, and neither demonic nor monstrous.”

    , and within that, there lurks a devastating critique of our modern world’s ability to mask even the most horrifying of evils – and putting a child to death in front of its parents under a pretense of caring, has got to rank high on such a list – wrapped in layer after layer of passively worded cliches, in such a way that our systems enable the vast majority of us to dismiss our concerns about what IS is, brushing aside ‘middle class’ concerns over what is and isn’t true, and pooh-poohing notions of ‘Right & Wrong’ – that fog is what has slipped into all of our lives, as the purest of evils go unremarked under the cover of their concerning boring and irrelevant issues, totally unworthy of consideration.

    You see, IMHO, Eichmann’s problem wasn’t so much that he had an ‘inability to think’, as that he had chosen much earlier in his life, not to think, he had chosen to not bother with the business of integrating what he thought, with what he did, could, and should, know was in reality true. That is a choice – a lesson that is drilled into us to make from Kindergarten to College – which untethers your mind from reality, encouraging and permitting (in all of us) just about any action, so long as it doesn’t cause a stir. Monsters, you see, are only monstrous because of how they appear, if someone looks and sounds like a monster, then they are a monster. But the real monsters of modernity work their horrors in the most unremarkable, mundane and utilitarian sorts of everyday actions, which we all thoughtlessly engage in, and people you probably have contact with every day, and those nice sounding policies which you might support, involve us all in choosing to produce these actions of purest evil, and they go unnoticed, because we’ve been taught to brush off that one thing which makes recognizing (or caring about) such evils a possibility for us – a decent regard for what is True.

    Here’s another instance of that distillate of evil, from the UK’s Telegraph, that brings little Alfie Evans, and us, face to face with Arendt’s ‘Banality of Evil’, in all its blandly bureaucratic darkness:

    “…But a doctor treating Alfie, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said that for Alfie to be allowed home would require a “sea change” in attitude from the child’s family, and they feared that in the “worst case” they would try to take the boy abroad….”

    Here again we have an example of what I think that Hannah Arendt was talking about: we have a Doctor, someone who presumably set out to commit to the Hippocratic ideal of ‘first do no harm‘, who, in the face of parents being forced to endure and witness the forced circumstances of their child’s death, has casually turned away from that reality which he’s directly involved in, and instead makes an aside of political commentary to a reporter, anonymous and off the record of course (thanks legal system!), in a very matter of fact manner, as ‘this whole fuss’ being an unfortunate reality of the institutional process which is the norm. This ‘healer’ gives little or no thought to the evil he’s participating in, but instead notes the uninteresting points which the process requires, and in which the ‘real problem’ is one of Public Relations, rather than the rights, interests and well being of either the parents or Alfie, and Alfie’s life is the token price the system requires, in order to continue functioning. For the greater good. One can easily imagine the doctor, and no doubt various levels of the hospital’s administrative staff, dutifully making notations about various factors in this case, likely filling in one blank, then another, and then, perhaps as you may have recently done when filling out your IRS 1040 Form, they dutifully total up lines 1 & 2 , and then check the appropriate box indicating whether or not the filled in blanks meet the requirements for option A (Life), or option B (Death). ‘There now, that’s done. Next case.

    The concerns of the hospital and the helthcare system which a great many of Britain’s people had clamored for, is for their well being. Systems have been drawn up and written down. Decisions are made according to its rules, far away in time and place from the human beings involved, so that totalling up lines 1 & 2 is all that will really matter, once the machine rolls around to the here and now. What is important to them, they’ve surely told themselves, is that their needs will be attended to, that’s the important thing, so important in fact, that the results of lines 1 & 2 just might require the system to kill you, or your baby, for the greater good, in order for the NHS to ensure your comfort, dignity and privacy. And after all, such things are what’s really important, right?

    It is when we turn away from what is real, true and important, to favor the things we urgently desire, and place decisions about them outside of the active concerns of human hands, that a people end up cheerfully bargaining away the last vestiges of the Individual Rights inherent in their humanity. We will do so in return for a guarantee of those needful things, and we will do so, will demand to do so, because the efficiency of that system is ‘trusted’ to be just the common sense thing that all ‘modern industrial societies‘ need to provide for their people – and that somehow it will be magically able to do so. That is exactly what is being put in place when, as Kira Davis put it :

    “… a nation votes for socialist healthcare they are agreeing to let the government treat their lives as algorithms…”

    People, like the healer quoted above, had better prepare themselves for when those who’re distributing ‘needs’ to ‘the people!‘, will do so in a way that totals up the results of lines 1 & 2 for them, for in the world of socialized medicine, by necessity, people, their rights and responsibilities, are exchanged for those inhuman calculations that are more appropriate to balance sheets (and conveniently making “…it impossible to trace the uncontestable evil of his deeds to any deeper level of roots or motives…” in order to satisfy the ‘needs’ of all. Once that system is put in place, those same people will enter into a world where they, their lives and their rights, will be exchanged for something very different. Kira concludes:

    “Sadly, Alfie – and little Charlie Gard before him – is doomed to be the sacrificial lamb at the altars of pride and socialism.

    You will never convince me that this is right in any way. Never.

    Because what this is… this is nothing short of real, actual, genuine evil.”

    The reality is, that once you remove the bureaucratese, and the media, and the politics, then what will be revealed to you is that whichever mask you’ve chosen to mask reality with, that of banality, or of a fanged monstrosity, what has been laying under either disguise, is what you’ve been trying to hide from all along: Evil.

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