[lit-ideas] Re: Aren't you glad you no longer have a Hitler problem?

  • From: "Andy Amago" <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2006 09:24:42 -0400

> Conventions, on the other hand, are made, in my opinion, by the
> weaklings who form the majority of mankind.  They establish them and
> apportion praise and blame with an eye to themselves and their own
> interests, and in an endeavour to frighten those who are stronger and
> capable of getting the upper hand they say that ambition is base and
> wrong, and that wrong-doing consists in trying to gain an advantage over
> others; being inferior themselves, they are content, no doubt, if they
> can stand on an equal footing with their betters.  That is why by
> convention an attempt to gain an advantage over the majority is said to
> be wrong and base, and men call it criminal; nature, on the other hand,
> demonstrates that it is right that the better man should prevail over
> the worse and the stronger over the weaker.
> (Callicles in Plato's _Gorgias_)

Sounds like he's supporting the top dog.  Maybe he needs to try life in a
kennel.   Or under a dictator.  Is this a support for Saddam and Stalin? 
It's not what the Founding Fathers based their country on.  In fact, the
Founding Fathers based their country in conventions.

For Robert Paul, I see what you mean by facts sometimes mitigating
emotions.  The problem is that facts can't mitigate the vague, unfocused
free-floating anger such as leads to "class struggle" and "corporate greed"
and "war for moral superiority" or domestic violence or child abuse. 
That's where emotions rule.  Unless you can show me how corporate greed is
rational.  Platonic maybe, as in the above excerpt, but not rational. 
Unless rational is defined as anything that makes money for shareholders,
whatever the cost to humanity.  But I don't think that's the dictionary
definition of rational.

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