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The Spiritual Truths underlying Liberalism and Conservatism, Part III: The crisis of nihilism, the triumph of Power, and a NeoPagan promise

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

This is the conclusion of a three part essay on conservatism, liberalism, and their relationship to NeoPagan spirituality. Part I described what liberalism and conservatism have been historically and philosophically and argued there is considerable truth in both views. Part II explored their relationship to Christian and Pagan spirituality and how Pagan insights enabled us better to understand their competitive but ultimately symbiotic relationship.  Now, Part III examines why neither, but especially conservatism, resembles what they have been historically and why those Pagan insights are so critically important to everyone today.

           The argument is more complex than the preceding two, but I hope you will bear with me. I am happy to elaborate points that seem undeveloped in the discussion to follow. Exceptions exist to much of what I am arguing, my larger argument is that the exceptions are minor themes today.

A valid conservative criticism of liberalism

One of the oldest conservative arguments against liberalism was that it lacked the moral weight to replace Christianity as the foundation for a stable society. Liberalism was too much a product of rational thought when liberal reason in the final analysis could not derive ethical principles from statements of fact. Something more was needed, a something supplied by Christianity. As liberalism gradually secularized society it was undercutting its own moral foundations. The results would be disastrous.

I believe there is considerable truth in this conservative critique, but it manifested in ways no genuine conservative imagined possible. We are living with the consequences today.

Conservatism’s Achilles heel

If liberalism lacked moral weight, conservatism had a connected weakness.  Conservatism arose within Great Britain, the most liberal European society of its time. Edmund Burke did not challenge the values of this society, he challenged liberalism’s understanding of why these values were important and how to extend them elsewhere. He saw them as culturally rooted and supported in tradition and religion rather than as universal principles applicable everywhere.  Unlike so much of Europe, the British crown made no claims to absolute authority, and Burke was a steady critic of centralizing efforts by the King and his ministers. He even  defending the American rebellion arguing they were fighting for the rights of Englishmen. 

Just as liberalism depended on its Christian roots, conservatism depended on English cultural and religious roots. Conservatism privileged the status quo, but it was a status quo deeply enmeshed in English religious and political institutions. Further, by the standards of the time those political institutions were liberal. Burke even argued France could improve its society by building on its own institutions that could increase French freedom along similar lines. He did not simply support the monarchy against reform. 

Should conservatism reject broad liberal values but continue to privilege the status quo it would cease being conservative.  Once they truly rejected liberalism, conservatives undermined their own position as deeply as liberalism had undermined its own foundations.

This was because, minus liberal values of any sort, conservatism becomes simply a defense of those who benefit from the status quo. But because change is eternal, it takes more and more power to preserve those who are benefiting against changes that might undermine them. As more and more power is needed to preserve the status quo, conservatism becomes the worship of power.

The rise of nihilism

We can understand what happened by introducing another term: nihilism.  Nihilism is modernity’s darkest shadow, hidden for years by the bright light the Enlightenment seemed to shed on all it examined. But today the light is dissipating and the shadow is growing.

Nihilism is the belief there are no ultimate values, that the world and life itself is without intrinsic meaning or value. It entered into the modern world as an unintended byproduct of modernity’s greatest achievement in acquiring knowledge: science.

As I argued in Part II, liberalism’s ethical roots are Christian, particularly that variant that emphasized everyone is equal in God’s eyes. And Christianity is based on interpreting the Bible. But as scientific knowledge advanced many Biblical statements were found to be literally false. Faced with this unexpected development, many Christians reinterpreted scripture to make passages once thought literally true to be allegorical or metaphorical.  But Darwin and evolutionary theory was a step too far.  If Darwin was right there was no Garden of Eden, no Adam and Eve, no Fall. Reinterpretations could still be done, but at this point they would undermine Christianity’s claim to religious exclusivity and therefore the commonly accepted interpretation of Jesus’s death.

To make matters worse, science inherited the Western Christian view that the world is without intrinsic value. If people arose from a world without value, they were without value as well. Ultimately life was pointless. Liberalism made modern science possible, and modern science cut liberalism’s original ethical foundation off at its roots, ultimately undermining conservatism as well.

This intellectual and moral earthquake took a while to percolate through society, starting initially with Europe’s philosophical elite. Friederich Nietzsche first grasped the implications of what was happening. In a time when the general mood in Europe was optimistic Nietzsche predicted catastrophe and war as the meaning that held society together dissolved.  Soon afterwards WWI broke out. Nietzsche’s view became widely known and often accepted.

Nietzsche’s observations complimented the traditional conservative view that liberalism could not sustain itself, but Nietzsche did not hold out the promise that if we returned to religion all would be better. As Nietzsche put it, God was dead.

This crisis hit Europe first because the war had discredited both liberalism and Christianity in the eyes of many. Illiberal mass movements arose on the right and left. Initially the US was lightly touched by this turmoil, but the same forces were at work. It would take longer for them to manifest, but manifest they would. Today the Christian moral capital that gave substance to both liberalism and conservatism in the US is largely exhausted.

Responding to Nihilism

Nihilism generally leads to two responses.  One is to lose confidence in our own values beyond their personal utility.  If something works for you but I disapprove, I have no objective grounds to say you are wrong and I am right.  It’s all a matter of taste because ultimately nothing matters. This attitude can lead to passivity and weakness, especially for liberals who believe all people are fundamentally equal. No outside stance exists anymore to criticize what it wrong.

Alternatively in a world without meaning we can seek to create meaning through the strength of our will. This is a kind of heroic response. Weaker people can then join with the strong elite to create a new world. It also elevates will above reason, and so is ultimately irrational.  Will trumps reason since reason is powerless to find value in life. Living life requires a powerful will able to dominate whatever opposes it.

A third response was once common in the Marxist left, but is not important today. Laws of social development were at work, and people could either cooperate or oppose them. But the laws would ultimately trump any efforts at denying them. Therefore it was best to act in harmony with those laws and eliminate all who opposed them. 

Nihilism guts liberalism

Not only had liberalism’s moral foundations been weakened or dissolved, the prospect of a peaceful liberal Europe had wrecked itself on the rocks of WWI, followed by the rise of fascism and Communism, and then WWII. The US was in better shape, but the stage had been set for its own crisis, to hit in the 70s.  The “stagflation” of the Carter years coming on the heels of the Vietnam debacle deprived egalitarian and managerial American liberals in particular of confidence in their policies as well as confidence in their moral grounding. A symbolic turning point was George H. W. Bush’s presidential debate with Michael Dukakis. When Bush accused him of being a liberal, Dukakis sought to dodge the criticism rather than responding affirmatively and proudly.

George Lakoff has written perceptively that politics is more about values than about the details of policy.  Once values are established, policy proposals can be evaluated. But today managerial and egalitarian liberals talk almost entirely in terms of policy. Moral language is avoided because in all too many cases liberals have no confidence in their moral principles, not the kind of confidence that says “No” and means it.  Was there torture and unnecessary war that killed thousands and maimed countless more?  This was too bad, but we should “move on.”  Were there criminal bankers who ruined the lives of millions?  Prosecuting them would be destabilizing. When policy is not backed up by strong principles it is open to compromising itself to death when confronting the unprincipled. 

At first classical liberalism and its best known variant, libertarianism, seemed in better shape intellectually and morally, even if most Americans disagreed with their concrete policy proposals. They had a strong political position in frequent alliance with American conservatism, as was particularly clear during the Goldwater campaign, and to some extent later with Ronald Reagan.

But that was about to change drastically.

Classical liberals had their own encounter with nihilism, largely through the growing influence of Ayn Rand. Rand ‘s novels were probably the major vector through which Nietzschean nihilism entered America at a popular level. Hers was an illiberal individualism with contempt for most people for not having the traits of her heroes and heroines.  While Rand sometimes wrote in terms of individual rights, her position was basically the strong do what they want, and the weak should step aside or be crushed. In the years after her death Rand became the major voice by which secular classical liberals first encountered praise for capitalism and opposition to ‘socialism.’

Today those calling themselves ‘libertarians’ are more likely to have read Rand’s novels than the more demanding works of the other leading classical liberal thinkers of recent times: F. A. Hayek, Milton Friedman. Their increasingly asocial thinking reflects this fact. For example, Hayek and Friedman both supported a guaranteed annual income whereas the asocial classical liberals of today argue no one is owed anything by anyone else, and any assistance to the weak perpetuates “moochers” and the weak.

This asocial attitude has intriguing connections with contemporary American ‘conservatism.’

What happened to conservatism?

Neither Barry Goldwater nor Ronald Reagan would be popular in today’s ‘conservative’ movement. Reagan is a kind of Jesus figure honored but rarely examined.  Goldwater does not even get that treatment. As I will explain below, once it rejected liberalism American conservatism declined rapidly into a simple celebration of the power of the strong over the less strong.  It has become an individualistic American variant of the right wing authoritarianism that arose in Europe after WWI.

To my mind the major root of this degeneration lie in the alliance many American conservatives made with the very different political elite of the old South. 

Deal with the devil

After the American Revolutionary generation died, the South’s new leaders increasingly rejected our Founders’ liberal ideology because it undermined slavery. Unlike their fathers, these men, most of them, did not regard slavery as an evil and so liberalism had to be wrong.  The Declaration of Independence had to be rejected. Their ablest thinkers were drawn to illiberal thinkers like Thomas Hobbes, and at a more popular level Southern religion diverged from the Christianity of the north as it rejected the Enlightenment in favor of claims of Biblical justifications of slavery.

Industrialization and urbanization’s liberalizing influence remained weak in the South and did not effectively challenge its pre-industrial values. Dixie remained deeply agricultural and wedded to very hierarchical conceptions of how people should relate. The South’s authoritarian and hierarchical intellectual and religious traditions survived the Civil War and dominate it today as America’s first and most genuine “counter-culture.”

 Whereas Northern conservatives saw their politics in terms of the legitimacy of the American Revolution and their understanding of the constitution and its values, the dominant Southern political and religious elites were loyal to the Confederacy and its theocratic, hierarchical and authoritarian values. But for a long time the South’s religious and political impact was mostly regional because Southern voters supported Democrats since Lincoln had been a Republican. And in the north the Republicans were the conservative party.

In the 1970s the Republican Party adopted the “Southern Strategy” to actively court Southern Democrats who were frustrated within a Democratic Party dominated by northern liberals pushing for Civil Rights. Initially Republicans believed they could control the influence of their new recruits.  But Southern NeoConfederates had different ideas. 

As NeoConfederate Southerners became increasingly involved in Republican politics American conservatism’s connection with the American Revolutionary tradition weakened. Increasingly they became identified with NeoConfederate priorities.  Today the core of Republican power is the old South augmented by Midwestern states where Southern versions of Christianity have become strong.

Conservative nihilism

The conservative sensitivity to our being embedded in a society long preceding our birth and lasting long after our deaths, a society towards which even the most successful have profound responsibilities, has been replaced by paeans to egoism. We see today the strange fact of an atheistic philosopher like Ayn Rand being admired by people claiming to be Christian. How can this be?

Two factors are particular important. First, today’s ‘conservatives’ are not interested in preserving American society, they are seeking its radical transformation along NeoConfederate lines.  Far from being conservative, in an American context they are revolutionary. As Pat Buchanan continually puts it, they are at war with us, and in war nothing is more important than the power to prevail.

Second, at its roots NeoConfederate thinking is a doctrine of power and subordination, and as such is intriguingly harmonious with asocial nihilism, at least for the powerful.  The critical difference is its claims to religious backing, but the deity of Southern Christianity is not a god of love or forgiveness, let alone one who sees all as equally valued in its eyes, it is a God of Power and wrath and punishment, commanding subordination.  Secular nihilism and the Christianity that arose to defend slavery came together in the veneration of power and domination.

Conservatism today is not conservative at all, despite keeping some of its former rhetoric. It has become a right wing movement devoted to power and domination.  Some so-called ‘Christians’ even call their theology “dominion theology.”  Conservatism has lost all trace of its Burkean sensitivity to what makes a stable society possible.

Today’s “movement conservatives” attack virtually every traditional American political institution, seeking to bring them under their own control.  The most clearly cut example is the Republican effort to rig the electoral college  so as to guarantee a Republican win with a significant minority of the vote. I predict it will be attempted again shortly before the 2016 elections, when there is not time for other states to take remedial actions to keep the process fair.

To this ‘conservatives’ add attempts in the name of a virtually nonexistent ‘voter fraud’ to effectively disenfranchise enormous numbers of Democratic voters. They are even admitting it.   In the American context it is hard to imagine a less conservative effort. 

What do we call this?  It is a kind of revolutionary reaction, an attempt to recreate the old societies of subordination and domination that liberalism found a way out of hundreds of years ago.

Conservatism today shares much with the pre-liberal past of aristocratic and monarchical societies, but without the moral restraint that occasionally moderated the actions of aristocrats and kings. Hierarchy is natural and those on top are better than those on the bottom who in some way deserve their fate.  As an Athenian force told the Melians before slaughtering them: “The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.” Those on top should take maximum advantage of that position, financially, politically, and militarily. For the religious, a God of Domination gives them its blessings.

A Pagan summing up

If this analysis is accurate, neither conservatism nor liberalism will recover an ability to check and limit Power until they have been strengthened with new ethical foundations. In their present weakness American society and institutions, explicitly founded as they are on principles both liberals and conservatives supported, is hamstrung, its government increasingly unable to serve the American people and becoming instead the help mate and enforcer of the powerful. The third pole of Power dominates both liberalism and conservatism.

The NeoPagan insights that closed my discussion of Part II are the clearest contemporary expressions of the values that need to underlie renewed liberal and conservative political and ethical traditions.We are a particularly clear representative of the values that would enable a sustainable, free, and prosperous post-agricultural society rooted in democracy, science, and the market to last into the next century.  The challenge of our time, insofar as we act as citizens of the larger world, is to help that possibility become a reality.

 

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Gus diZerega is a Third Degree Elder in Gardnerian Wicca. He studied closely with Timothy White who later founded Shaman’s Drum magazine, and also studied Brazilian Umbanda  for six years under Antonio Costa e Silva.

Dr. diZerega has published widely on the social sciences in the academic press as well as on spirituality.  His second book Pagans and Christians: The Personal Spiritual Experience won the Best Nonfiction of 2001 award from  The Coalition of Visionary Resources.  His third, coauthored with Philip Johnson, is Beyond the Burning Times: A Pagan and a Christian in Dialogue. His art frequently appeared in Shaman’s Drum, and the ecological journals Wild Earth, and The Trumpeter.

DiZerega combines a formal academic training in Political Science with decades of work in Wicca and shamanic healing.

His next book, Faultlines: The Culture War and the Return of the Divine Feminine, will appear in 2013. 

Comments

  • Natasha Petrova
    Natasha Petrova Wednesday, 11 September 2013

    "Today those calling themselves ‘libertarians’ are more likely to have read Rand’s novels than the more demanding works of the other leading classical liberal thinkers of recent times: F. A. Hayek, Milton Friedman. Their increasingly asocial thinking reflects this fact. For example, Hayek and Friedman both supported a guaranteed annual income whereas the asocial classical liberals of today argue no one is owned anything by anyone else, and any assistance to the weak perpetuates “moochers” and the weak."

    Typo assistance; you must have meant owed?

    Anyhow,

    There are actually some interesting passages in Rand's full body of work where she states that there is nothing wrong with helping people as long as you can afford it/they are worthy of the help, and that people should help each other in emergency situations out of rational self-interest. Of course; she doesn't regard charity as a duty or a major virtue either, but she also rhetorically condemns the kind of egoism that just involves whimsically looting or trampling other's rights. Roderick Long explains it thusly:

    "Perhaps the most controversial aspect of Rand's philosophy — her rejection of altruism and her embrace of ethical egoism — is also one of the most misunderstood. Despite her sometimes-misleading rhetoric about "the virtue of selfishness," the point of her egoism was not to advocate the pursuit of one's own interests at the expense of others', but rather to reject the entire conflictual model of interests according to which "the happiness of one man necessitates the injury of another," in favor of an older, more Aristotelean conception of self-interest as excellent human functioning.

    It was on such Aristotelean grounds that she rejected not only the subordination of one's own interests to those of others (and it is this, rather than mere benevolence, that she labeled "altruism") but also the subordination of others' interests to one's own (which she labeled "selfishness without a self"). For Rand, the Aristotelean recognition of properly understood human interests as rationally harmonious was the essential foundation for a free society."

    http://mises.org/daily/1738/Ayn-Rands-Contribution-to-the-Cause-of-Freedom

    And I also realize that this view above is not reflected in her treatment of the American Indians.

    I personally posed the question of whether one could reject compulsory taxation and still believe we have a duty to help others to a market anarchist group. I think Roderick Long might have argued we do have a duty to help others in his presentation on the libertarian ethics, but I am not entirely sure. I certainly think one can reject the concept of a government solution to social assistance and still believe in an obligation to help others. An ethical norm that cultural pressures could help enforce.

  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega Thursday, 12 September 2013

    Thanks Natasha- the typo is corrected.

    As to Rand, nihilism, and power I think you are too generous. Her comments on American Indians late in life mirror her comments on “the masses” in her first novel “We the Living.” In that early novel she had her heroine say

    “What are your masses but mud to be ground under foot, fuel to be burned for those who deserve it? What is the people but millions of puny, shriveled, helpless souls that have no thoughts of their own, no dreams of their own, no will of their own, who eat and sleep and chew helplessly the words others put into their mildewed brains. . . . I know of no worse injustice that justice for all.”

    She had that passage removed in later editions, and her followers claim this was evidence her views had changed. But here is only a part of what she wrote about native Americans decades later, when she spoke at West Point:

    "They had no right to a country merely because they were born here and then acted like savages. . . . Since the Indians did not have the concept of property or property rights--they didn't have a settled society, they had predominantly nomadic tribal 'cultures' --- they didn't have rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights that they had not conceived of and were not using. It's wrong to attack a country that respects (or even tries to respect) individual rights. If you do, you're an aggressor and are morally wrong. But if a 'country' does not protect rights--if a group of tribesmen are the slaves of their tribal chief --- why should you respect the 'rights' that they don't have or respect? . . . But let's suppose they were all beautifully innocent savage --- which they certainly were not. What were they fighting for, in opposing the white man on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence; for their 'right' to keep part of the earth untouched --- to keep everybody out so they could live like animals or cavemen. Any European who brought with him an element of civilization had the right to take over this continent, and it's great that some of them did." (Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q & A. pp 103-4.)

    Underneath her talk of rights is something very different: superior people need not allow others to impede their projects. Part of being superior is agreeing with her about rights. If you do not, you do not have them.

    In Atlas Shrugged “the masses” were incapable of even preserving electricity once her heroes and heroines went “on strike.” They could not preserve civilization. Would they truly have had rights given her logic?

    (As an aside, the doctrine of people being essentially slaves of their ruler was common in Europe and all but unknown in North America. Further her other errors of fact about Indian peoples would get her a failing grade in any undergraduate essay on the subject. Finally, that she could be so wrong and so cavalier about such a topic suggests what the idea of rights really was for her. Rights matter most when observing them is NOT to your personal advantage.)

    She believed a sign of superiority was not having to depend on others- but that did not protect the others from being displaced or worse when they stood in the way of their superiors’ plans. There is a difference between using others against their will (which she opposed) and running over them when they opposed yours.

    Because her nihilism was individualistic rather than collectivist, as was often the case in Europe, she often wrote wonderful passages extolling the value of individual creativity and its being suppressed by the state and its servants. But she saw the state as a tool for the undeserving who either sought help from it or used it to gang up on the deserving. The real issue was desert, not rights, and the supermen and women were the deserving.

    That so many of her followers are so asocial demonstrates that the meaning in her writings is more in keeping with these quotations than to any doctrine of human rights or intrinsic value beyond simply the will of the powerful.

    Rand is exhilarating to read in the way Nietzsche is because of her celebration of personal power and independence. But she is ultimately destructive if taken too seriously because she treats these qualities as independent from and even hostile to our immersion in social relations. I think this is why so many of us – myself included – find her inspiring when we are adolescents and leave her behind as we mature. It is also one of the enormous gaps between her understanding of people and Aristotle’s very social model where our uniquely human quality is speech- interacting with one another - not reason, which we can do alone.

  • Jamie
    Jamie Thursday, 12 September 2013

    Mr. diZerega,

    Another amazing and eloquent piece. Thank you for bringing it to us. I agree with every word of it.

    Marcus Aurelius once wrote about wealthy and powerful people who felt they owed the rest of the human race nothing. Paraphrasing, he said that everyone from farmers to merchants and teachers had made their success in life possible. This whole society enabled the aristocrats to thrive, and the aristocrats in turn had a moral obligation to improve that society.

    He also wrote that the whole of humanity is like a vast tree; our races and ethnicities forming the greater limbs, our tribes and families the lesser ones.

    We the individuals are like the leaves, with an important difference from real life: The darkness in our souls can weaken the bond with the tree over time, if we let it. Should we let it overwhelm us, the bond is severed and we float away from the tree of our common humanity...the tree which sustains us.

    How free, how superior, must those unfortunate souls feel when they have shed themselves of all those burdensome obligations to their fellow human beings? Falling away from the tree, in a death spiral of the soul, must feel very liberating to a certain kind of person.

    I believe the clinical term is, "psychotic".

    "We see today the strange fact of an atheistic philosopher like Ayn Rand binge admired by people who claim to be Christian."

    I know it was a typo, but since I've always despised Ayn Rand, I think it works just the way it is.

  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega Thursday, 12 September 2013

    Thanks Jamie. I like the analogy! And I'll fix the typo.

  • Greybeard
    Greybeard Friday, 13 September 2013

    Hi Gus. I tried really hard to understand your arguments with a fair and open mind. The straw man caricature of Conservatives is probably common in the liberal bastions calling themselves "education" today. It makes a poor basis for rational discussion on the street, however. In an article titled, "... Liberalism and Conservatism... " there was little about Liberalism. A pseudo-intellectual bash of a straw-man Conservatism is not much of a balanced assessment. I got to the end and wondered what this has to do with pagan. I don't equate "pagan" with "liberal," and if there was some other conclusion I must have missed it. Be well.

  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega Friday, 13 September 2013

    Greybeard-
    I give reasons for my conclusions which enable critics to attack their premises or their content. (Perhaps undermining the electoral college is a way of preserving American institutions or Burke was not concerned with power as a threat to liberty; or conservatism is not a kind of ecological reasoning or liberalism really is; or my distinction between classical, managerial, and egalitarian liberals breaks down or is irrelevant; or the antebellum South was not a counter culture rejecting the Declaration of Independence and the line of reasoning behind it).

    I give my readers lots of opportunities to actually come to grips with my claims and my reasons for them. I also explain why they are important to my ultimate argument. All are points where I might be rebutted.

    You ignore them almost entirely and pretty much always have, simply repeating I am a liberal who demonize conservatives and ignore the three pole argument (conservatism, liberalism, power as domination) I repeatedly say is central to understanding what I am writing.

    It seems as if you believe that the fact you believe something to be true makes it true no matter what the evidence against it someone might array. Further, you act as if you think you do not have to give reasons for your claims beyond the fact that it is you who make them.

    I suppose there are other people out there who find such approaches worthwhile.

  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega Monday, 30 September 2013

    The actions of the right wing nihilists in the Republican Party threatening to close the government down if measures unable to win a majority of votes in Congress on their merits are not passed is an extraordinary illustration of the argument I am making. They are in no sense 'conservative' nor are they in any identifiable American tradition except, perhaps, extortion, which has usually been a matter of private crime.

  • Jamie
    Jamie Tuesday, 01 October 2013

    Mr. DiZerega,

    I also like the part where the politicians get paid no matter what happens.

    What the hell do their puppetmasters care? Their assets are globalized. Does anybody seriously think the executives at Goldman Sachs or the Koch brothers will be forced to resort to EBT (government assistance for the poor, for those outside the USA reading this) cards if the greenback loses even more value due to U.S. government default?

    No, thank you for asking...no need to worry for them. Most of their gold is in militarized bank vaults in Singapore. The Masters Of The Universe will not be adversely affected by whatever economic destruction they inflict upon ordinary U.S. citizens.

    You and I, a different story.

  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega Wednesday, 09 October 2013

    A very insightful blog post, "The Countdown to Augustus," has described with exceptional clarity how the right wing nihilists are undermining a free society in the name of a utterly bogus 'conservatism.' http://weeklysift.com/2013/10/07/countdown-to-augustus/

  • Greybeard
    Greybeard Wednesday, 09 October 2013

    Yawn... Same old tired leftist manure.... different day.

  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega Wednesday, 09 October 2013

    Reading comprehension problems as usual Greybeard?

  • Greybeard
    Greybeard Wednesday, 09 October 2013

    I'm putting some of that stuff out on my lawn and oak tree. Fall fertilizer makes it grow well come spring.

  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega Wednesday, 09 October 2013

    What I find fascinating about so many of those who call themselves 'conservatives' but are really right wingers, is their inability or unwillingness to enter into intelligent conversations. It is really quite interesting in a dark sort of way.

    Along with fertilizing your oak with manure try fertilizing your mind by confronting ideas with reasons and examples.

  • Greybeard
    Greybeard Wednesday, 09 October 2013

    When you see an intelligent conversation around, let us know. All I've seen so far is the usual leftist fiction and nonsense. There are no rational ideas to discuss.

  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega Wednesday, 09 October 2013

    I have asked that you be banned from this blog.

  • Greybeard
    Greybeard Wednesday, 09 October 2013

    Of course you did. Liberal talking points and insults can't tolerate contradictory opinions. Its all "good" only when inside a very limited and myopic little world.

  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega Wednesday, 09 October 2013

    They will empower me to eliminate your nastiness and rudeness from this blog, probably Monday. Had you any integrity you would not have written what you did because I have a long record of engaging in discussions with those who disagree. I asked several times for you to address issues rather than throwing insults. But you don't engage in discussions since you brought up some issues on Southern slavery, which I addressed specifically. You returned to your previous norm behavior of throwing scatalogical insults with the emotional maturity of a three year old. THAT is why soon your comments will disappear.

    The same holds for anyone else. Disagree all you want, but throwing insults and nastiness around in place of arguments, examples, and reasons will get you ejected. Right winger have poisoned enough of this society over the past few years, they will not poison this blog. Nor will anyone with other views either.

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