Series: Bin Laden's Argument

Osama Bin Laden’s Interesting Argument (1)

Only one thing, apparently, is more natural than to be appalled by violence against someone else’s child: to embrace one’s own child all the more tightly.

Posted in Philosophy, Politics, War Tagged with: , , , , , ,

ever higher (interlude on Binladenism and Gaza)

(an interlude in the discussion of Osama Bin Laden’s interesting argument) Corey Robin denounces as “casuistry” and “the higher sociopathy” an attempt by Yishai Schwartz to justify the Israeli invasion of Gaza. Schwartz’s argument has the character of the public

Posted in International Relations, notes, Philosophy, Politics, War Tagged with: ,

OBL’s Argument (2): Gomorrah

On my Twitter feed recently, among commemorations of the Austro-Hungarian declarations of July 28, 1914, now recognized as the beginning of World War I, another anniversary was also briefly noted: Of Operation Gomorrah, on July 28, 1943, an aerial bombardment

Posted in Philosophy, Politics, War Tagged with: , , , , , ,

OBL’s Argument (3): Leviathan

Freedom from second thought is also provided by the morally supremely convenient notion (or version of the same notion) that government accountability works in one direction only, or, even better, that we can choose which actions of our government or

Posted in Philosophy, Politics, War Tagged with: , , , , , ,

OBL’s Argument (4): Retributions

Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah — from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the

Posted in Philosophy, Politics, War Tagged with: , , , , , ,

OBL’s Argument (5): Shapes of Justice

The de-construction of rules for the resolution of serious political disagreements, politics of the end of politics, is the drawing near of danger: War is or occurs for us, and escalates, as that de-construction, in search of a foundation of

Posted in Philosophy, Politics, War Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Noted & Quoted

(0)

The most painful aspect of this has been to watch people I previously considered thoughtful and principled conservatives give themselves over to a species of illiberal politics from which I once thought they were immune.

In his 1953 masterpiece, “The Captive Mind,” the Polish poet and dissident Czeslaw Milosz analyzed the psychological and intellectual pathways through which some of his former colleagues in Poland’s post-war Communist regime allowed themselves to be converted into ardent Stalinists. In none of the cases that Milosz analyzed was coercion the main reason for the conversion.
They wanted to believe. They were willing to adapt. They thought they could do more good from the inside. They convinced themselves that their former principles didn’t fit with the march of history, or that to hold fast to one’s beliefs was a sign of priggishness and pig-headedness. They felt that to reject the new order of things was to relegate themselves to irrelevance and oblivion. They mocked their former friends who refused to join the new order as morally vain reactionaries. They convinced themselves that, brutal and capricious as Stalinism might be, it couldn’t possibly be worse than the exploitative capitalism of the West.

I fear we are witnessing a similar process unfold among many conservative intellectuals on the right.

Comment →
(0)

The precarious feeling of uncertainty will nonetheless persist, at least until U.S. authority, in Europe or anywhere else, is seriously challenged. And there are signs that a challenge is coming. In the past few days, the Russian government has recognized passports from the phony “republics” that Russian-armed, Russian-controlled “separatists” have created in eastern Ukraine — perhaps, as one Russian official suggested, as a prelude to granting them Russian passports or even annexing the territories outright. Russian planes repeatedly buzzed a U.S. destroyer on patrol in the Black Sea. Most ominously, Russia has reportedly deployed a new generation of cruise missiles, a move that violates existing arms treaties and could make it easier for Russian bombs to reach European capitals.

There is no reason to think that these small “tests” will not be repeated. And if any one of them explodes into something worse, then talk of “shared values” will not help. Nor will repeated reassurances from Cabinet members. At some point, the enforced ambiguity will fall away, it will not be possible to disguise reality with “Swedish incidents” and we will learn what the president actually believes. I just hope that we are all prepared.

Comment →
(0)

Our partners in the international order we created - some of whom we conquered to make it possible - are now seeking to defend it from us. Let's say that again, Defend it from us. How do we now as loyal Americans look at the warnings of the French and the Germans, as well as the British and our other erstwhile allies' warnings? This is a complicated question which different people, depending on their professions and governmental responsibilities and personal dispositions, must answer in different ways. But we cannot ignore the fact that the American experiment is now in a kind of exile - taken refuge elsewhere - and the executive power of the American state now under a kind of, hopefully temporary, occupation.

We face a comparable dynamic at home. I have been thinking for weeks that the central challenge and reality of the Trump Era is what do you do as an institutionalist when the central institutions of the state have been taken over, albeit democratically, by what amount to pirates, people who want to destroy them? To put it another way, do the institutions and norms which Trump and his gang are trying to destroy become shackles and obstacles in the way of those trying to defend them? There['re] no easy answers to these questions.

Comment →

@CK_MacLeod

State of the Discussion

bob
Ignored
Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ I dunno, I think a lot of people looked at the TPers not as patriotic Americans but as bat shit crazy. Their difficulty in [. . .]
On Emulating the TP vs Trump’s GOP
CK MacLeod
Ignored
Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ They will still have to cope with a version of the same conflict at every stage and level. Sooner or later, or constantly, any political [. . .]
On Emulating the TP vs Trump’s GOP
bob
Ignored
Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ Sure, that's a fair characterization of the discussion outlined in the tweets. My point is that the information we have about "the left" is [. . .]
On Emulating the TP vs Trump’s GOP

Categories

Support This Site?