Procreative Concept and the Insult to Gays; My Father’s Gifts; Roger’s OK

Been very busy at OT lately, having entrapped myself by starting to fix, develop, re-design the site on the fly. Whole new vistas of massively unpaid labor are opening before me, though maybe I’ll eventually figure out how to monetize it. (I think I very well might, in fact, one way or another.) In the meantime, I’ve also been carrying on a multi-thousand word intermittently incredibly frustrating conversation in relation to marriage equality, on now at least two threads there, somewhat following the pattern of a conversation with Alan Scott originally imported from OT over to these parts just about exactly a year ago.

I’ll eventually archive and try to extract some theses from the latest dialogue, but, for now, I’ll publish a comment not yet posted, starting the latest epic installment in what, according to my current plan, will arise in media res, appropriately, at least from the perspective of this blog. If you find that sentence obscure, you ain’t not quite made out anything yet.

Before I get to that, or begin revising and extending it, I’ve got a bunch to do, including posting here the eulogy for my father that I promised earlier – which latter is, early adopters do note, currently available at his blog (or the site now devoted to his memory). Let me also report, while handling loose ends, that Cousin Roger’s surgery went well, and we are all looking forward to exploiting him and his talents as we should have been all along, having now been reminded that we had better get to exploiting him while he’s still exploitable, and while we are still able to exploit.

Not yet posted comment on marriage equality and procreative concept (subject to revision):

Was hoping David would defend his position, and was respecting the “impasse,” but I’ll leap back in while it’s on my mind:

On the “insult,” we return to one of my initial comments, back on Answering Douthat, on the observation that photosynthesis is not an insult to mammals, with which you, @stillwater, originally agreed, before reverting to your apparently unalterable main position, which, I have been insisting, originates in presumption and prejudice, is ahistorical, and is an example of fact-value fallacy at its most fallacious, and ironically.

In arguing for the profundity of the procreative concept, I am trying to point to a level of idealization that goes against empiricist prejudice. I think you continually revert to objectification: You read the word “procreation,” and immediately think of the sex act. From an idealist-conceptual perspective, “procreation” refers to “creative union of opposites” or even “union of union and disunion” that is, as it were, expressed in the gender-complementarist marriage (lower-order) concept, but by no means exclusively represented by it.

As a thought experiment, say I wish to speak of astrophysical concepts and use astrophysical “nature” as the idea of nature from which to extract, fact-value fallaciously or not, my moral concept. This experiment may seem ridiculous or outlandish or weird, dude, though in fact, and value, I think it might actually at some point meet up with union of union and disunion and procreativity/agapasticism. I observe that the Sun plays a vital and important and possibly originary or at least fundamental role in the possibility of Life on Earth. But I observe that the Moon is indispensable, too. Without it, there would be no waves, I believe, or not the ones we have, and without the waves I have no idea what the real Earth we inhabit would look like. So, I found a Cult of Luna to celebrate the tides and change. Is that an “insult” to the Cults of Gaia and Apollo Helius, or just another positive expression of something also-fundamental?

In possibly my favorite passage in the very voluminous and famously brain-rotting works of Herr Union of Union and Disunion, he observes the “generative principle” in relation to the sex act, and, perhaps half-jokingly, attributes to Nature a sense of humor, in having paired the physical act of “generation” with the physical act of urination in the male organ used for both purposes. So, sexual reproduction and pissing happen through, as it were, the same channel.

Is this an insult? Does this fact make the generation of all human life a “dirty business”? We could go on teasing out the union of these two opposites. We could observe the “lower” drives associated both with sexual urges and the urge to urinate, or note the difficulty of distinguishing a face distorted by agony from a face distorted by sexual passion, and be left completely unsure or “without a clue” as to the necessary moral status, from nature, of one or the other act separately or in relation to each other. We can imagine some society in which the Cult of the God of Urination had the highest place of all. Maybe we’ll get there some day. I’ll leave it to a sci-fi writer somewhere, assuming it doesn’t already appear in some Kurt Vonnegut short story.

As I pointed out in my in initial reply to Alan Scott when we were discussing his presumption a year ago, there is in fact strong and ancient and philosophically highest historical precedent, as well as contemporary cultural precedent, for holding the homosexual relationship higher than the heterosexual (“breeder”) relationship in esteem, precisely because it is not directly associated with the brutally dirty business of baby-making.

Not involved personally with any of it, except by virtue of having been born of a mother and father, just like every other person, gay or straight or cis or trans or whatever, I don’t begin with any other moral presumption. I don’t have any personal interest in how the social-civil-political game plays out – or maybe it would serve me best to see the role of philosophically obscure discourse in the “reproduction” of society fully embraced, acknowledge, celebrated, and so on. Maybe I should wish you all just give all this marriage talk and worry over whether a baker will decorate a cake for you or not a rest. You should all be reading Hegel and Peirce and Hume, and I think I may soon come around to the position that it’s an insult to childless loveless people like me that you’re spending so much time demanding I take an interest in your happy family fun time and no doubt moving and meaningful at least to you experiences with your kids, whether in gay homes or straight homes – makes no difference to me, except for the fact that you insist I help pay for your schools and daycare and family leave and medical bills and the rest. (Why should I? As far as I can tell you misuse your literacy, which otherwise would be my main direct interest in all of that… More insults…)

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Writing since ancient times, blogging, e-commercing, and site installing-designing-maintaining since 2001; WordPress theme and plugin configuring and developing since 2004 or so; a lifelong freelancer, not associated nor to be associated with any company, publication, party, university, church, or other institution. 

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Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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