Posted by Richard Adams
To stop murder, get rid of guns. And to stop obesity, get rid of fast food.
Whatever happened to teaching people to be responsible and to govern themselves? Liberty is hard to reconcile with distrust of the citizenry.
Yes! Govern yourselves . . . according to these rules . . . heh.
Come on, Mr. Adams. Your blatant and simplistic misrepresentation of typical liberal viewpoints would be funny if it weren't such an over-taxed right-wing ploy. I think there is more liberals and conservatives have in common on issues like obesity and gun control than you care to acknowledge. I think that by and large, everyone agrees that obesity cannot just be gotten rid of by getting rid of fast food, nor can murder be decimated by eliminating guns.
However, please do not be so naive as to claim people can learn to govern themselves in an economic system that promotes conspicuous consumption, unnecessary waste, luxury, etc. on every TV station, in every magazine, on every billboard, and on nearly every T-shirt. When we are constantly bombarded with commercial messages focused at us as consumers rather than people, when we are manipulated by smells and music (which nearly every major corporation uses in their stores these days . . .) that have been proven to increase our buying habits, we tend to have a hard time learning how to control ourselves.
This is not to say that parents, individuals, and our culture are not all, in part, to blame. But I'm really tired of this idea that the liberals are out there, wacked-out, making mountains out of mole-hills and fighting silly battles. It's not all flippant and silly. I think this kind of post hurts real, progressive discussion on such issues.
I can't tell you why exactly but when I read this I knew someone would post something that I would then attempt to transfigure into a discussion of Malthus. In this spirit, Matt is suggesting that you are characterizing liberals just as folks characterize Malthus. In other words what Malthus said matters very little to the title Malthusian. Malthus is reduced to a certain logic that he himself would have disliked. The same I suppose goes for Darwin, who seems to have held Malthus's principle of population in high esteem.
In point of fact Darwin says in his Autobiography: "As soon as I had fully realized this idea, I saw, on reading Malthus on Population, that natural selection was the inevitable result of rapid increase of all organic beings; for I was prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence by having long studied the habits of animals."
Now I don't really know why the Spanish parliment is giving rights to apes, why liberals want to reduce gun ownership or reduce american dependency on fast food, but having studied the habits of men I know that when we don't know the answer we make something up to fill in the gaps. It may be that liberals having long studied the habits of animals have came to certain deterministic conclusions about cause and effect, this seems to be most evident in the middle paragraph of Matt's objection. It seems to me that Matt has a very solid claim. It is a claim that neglects perhaps what is human which is the capacity for discipline restraint and forethought. But I am not going to bet against Matt when it comes to characterizing myself and most americans, since I have been to Vegas.
In other words it may very well be the case that Obama is right about the insight of the black church, to wit: "Long before it became fashionable among television evangelists, the typical black sermon freely acknowledged that all Christians(including the pastors) could expect to still experience the same greed, resentment, lust, and anger that everyone else experienced."
Now I joked around that Obama was Buddhist, and I suppose that if he had included a chapter on Music I might have compared him to Schaupenhaeur, but the question that invariably becomes political depends on what is to restain human beings from acting as habitual animals in an exploitable fashion?
Obama by the way is at least according the the Audacity of Hope against mandating what people can or cannot eat, and if he is to be believed he is not against responsible gun ownership.
I don't have time enough, nor am I smart enough to do the theory justice, but rest assured that I am not done with the section in Hegel's phenomenology dealing with critical consciousness vs. way of the world or (subjectivity vs. authority)
In point of fact it is not accidental that Matt opens up with: "Yes! Govern yourselves . . . according to these rules . . . heh"
With more time I would like to take Obama(Hegel) up against Marx, and discuss the political necessity of false consciousness, or why it is that libertarians must defend all gun ownership and not just "reponsible" gun ownership, and also why the NAACP will always live on even if Charles Johnson is right.
These local attempts at control bother me a lot less than federal control. I do think that it is stupid that LA would try to control what people eat. At my age, life is a diet and self-government in the area of food is just what my present and future holds. That is one of the small handful of reasons why I would like to be 20 again, for the relief of eating what I like, which I could then and can't now. But who else will control what I put in my mouth, but me? Government control of obesity is an enormous project (sorry) and I think it will sink of its own weight.
Whatever happened to teaching people to be responsible and to govern themselves?
One cannot expect the citizens to engage in self-government when the Nanny State has abdicated her citizens of virtually all responsibility for their collective actions.
Obesity is a health problem, for sure. But if Uncle Sam wasn't on the hook for much of the extra medical costs that mass obesity puts on the health care system, I wonder how much of a deal the politicians would make about it.
This is tobacco all over again.
"Liberty is hard to reconcile with distrust of the citizenry."
Pardon me while I lose my lunch. If you want to critique government officials and policies that show a distrust of the citizenry, why not start with the Elephants in the Oval Office? Distrust of the citizenry has defined the Bush White House! Everything they do is soaked in secrecy and the citizenry is effectively flipped the bird when they care to so much as even question it.
Mr. Lewis, what exactly is your point? You have put on some nice academic pretensions there but it still comes out as a bunch of incoherent nonsense.
It is just as well if my points remain incoherent, Mr. Mansfield Fan. Side bet as to who can explain a random passage from Mansfield using only quotes from Toqueville and Machiavelli?
the so called healthy people get the sames diseases as obese people do. The so called healthy skinny people get sick and die just like everyone Else. Liberals just are not accepting of people as they say they are. I think liberals have found A avenue to control people.Liberal don't want people to govern themselves. They think people are to stupid to govern themselves.if there is A disease its A liberal disease that want to snatch your life away.Just read Matt's comments decide for yourself. Oh but A liberal wants to decide that for you!
Ashbrook Center at Ashland University | 401 College Avenue | Ashland, Ohio 44805 | (419) 289-5411 | (877) 289-5411 (Toll Free)