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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:20 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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I think that analysis ignores the strong influence of libertarian-style philosophy on US politics. Though why that influence seems to have so little influence anywhere else is another question.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:21 pm 
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I read it on real paper, not on website. I’ll have to look up if there is an online version. But tonight I’ll go to the theatre to watch a piece about the centenary of the Russian Revolution!

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:49 pm 
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yov, I think the libertarian viewpoint is, like any other viewpoint in this country, influential only when what it urges facilitates something the powerful want to have happen (e.g., selling more guns in the United States than there are people to carry them).

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:12 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
I think that analysis ignores the strong influence of libertarian-style philosophy on US politics. Though why that influence seems to have so little influence anywhere else is another question.

Yov, what do you see as libertarian influence?

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:14 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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The general idea that gov't should have very limited, specific powers and outside of that, should not be involved in people's lives.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:53 pm 
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If you search for the previously mentioned German sentence "Gibt es einen sozialen Todestrieb?" you will find that the sentence refers to a November interview in the German newspaper of record Die Zeit. The article can only be read if you have acquired a subscription to Zeit Online http://www.zeit.de/2017/46/amoklaeufe-u ... ettansicht

The interview is with Joseph Vogl, a German philosopher and what the Germans call Literaturwissenschaftler ("literature scientist", so in essence a humanities scholar who specializes in literature). Vogl rose to minor fame in several leading German newspapers in 2010/11, when he released his book Das Gespenst des Kapitals (in English "The Specter of Capital", a title that obviously refers to the prominent first sentence of a quintessential book), in which he discusses the theological roots of modern economics as a science (from the seventeenth to the late twentieth centuries). In his book, Vogl coins and prominently uses the term Oikodizee, a term which he modeled after theodicy, to refer to what he identifies as a widespread belief in a self-regulated, rational market. The book contains some interesting passages but overall it is badly written, sometimes revealing the author's lack of knowledge in the field of economics and its history as a science, and more importantly thoroughly unoriginal (much more profound Marxists of all stripes have pointed out the theological roots of classical economics since the nineteenth century).

The interview with Vogl in Die Zeit is less about US gun culture but about the connection between lone mass murderers and "late-capitalism", a term used by some prominent post-war Marxists to refer to the current stage of Western capitalism (Vogl has published German translations of French philosophers Lyotard and Deleuze and thereby must be viewed in the light of a continental (West-)European post-structural intellectual milieu).

The phrase "sozialer Todestrieb" in the title is better translated as "social death-drive" and reveals the influence of Freudian psychoanalysis on the field. In the interview, Vogl tries to connect the two presidents Reagan and Trump, a point which is first raised by the interviewer himself who locates Trump in the tradition line of Reagonomics. And as laid-off postal employees "went postal" in the 1980s, so now does the former postal clerk Stephen Paddock go on a shooting spree. There is one good phrase in the interview which refers to modern US suburbs as "Amazon ghettos". Vogl also cites Tony Judt, a much more interesting intellectual figure who passed away in 2010, and name-drops Adorno (who is a tough but very illuminating read).

In the last third of the interview, Vogl speaks about society-wide suicidal tendencies in America that aim to decrease the life-span of others, and sometimes even of one self, citing the fights over Obamacare and gun rights as examples. All of that reads very much like one of those typical Feuilleton articles which feature a (conservative, liberal, or Marxist) public intellectual who has declared his competence over a wide range of academic fields and now must educate the bourgeois masses.

What Vogl does not mention in the interview (unless it was cut from the online version) is the role of religious belief in the United States in all of this. To inherently link high religiosity in a society with "pre-modern conceptions of the value of modern[?] life" would be extremely uninformed and reveal Vogl as an adherent of late nineteenth-century conceptions about modernity, that ever fickle term.

PS: Corrected a typo.


Last edited by Beutlin on Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:07 pm 
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Sounds like an interesting article Nin. I have long found the God/Guns connection an unfathomable paradox.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:26 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
The general idea that gov't should have very limited, specific powers and outside of that, should not be involved in people's lives.


While the idea of a limited government is nowadays mostly or primarily associated with libertarianism, I would not equate the two. If one follows the Wikipedia definition of libertarianism ("a collection of political philosophies and movements that uphold liberty as a core principle."), one could apply this label to most present American political movements (even some parts of the online alt-right), and to a lesser degree even to a large chunk of European parties.

While it is dangerous to overgeneralize these differences, there exists indeed a larger degree of state power skepticism in the current Anglo-Saxon world as opposed to continental Europe. The reasons for these differences must primarily be traced to the relatively recent past (~150) years, but wide-spread American bourgeois skepticism to state authority go back at least to the Revolution. Most of the defining figures of the revolution held, among other things, strong liberal convictions. Their liberalism was much different from current American liberalism and central aspects of their liberal views would confuse and even shock 21st-century liberals and conservatives (and I am specifically not alluding here to race- and gender-related issues). To cut a long story short: I would say that 18century liberal ideas very much shaped the America of today, including wide-spread state skepticism, and yes, this also relates to guns.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:34 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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Beutlin wrote:
yovargas wrote:
The general idea that gov't should have very limited, specific powers and outside of that, should not be involved in people's lives.


While the idea of a limited government is nowadays mostly or primarily associated with libertarianism, I would not equate the two. If one follows the Wikipedia definition of libertarianism ("a collection of political philosophies and movements that uphold liberty as a core principle."), one could apply this label to most present American political movements (even some parts of the online alt-right), and to a lesser degree even to a large chunk of European parties.


Libertarian philosophy defines the "core principle" of "liberty" in a much more clear, specific way than the average person does. Using that more specific sense, I don't agree that it applies to many American political movements.

But we're Osgilliating a bit if we go further down that road. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:56 pm 
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Oh, I am primarily referring here to the historical roots of said American views that government should have very limited powers, which are not so much rooted in libertarianism (a movement which from a conceptual perspective really only begins to take form after WWII) but eighteenth-century liberalism. Current libertarian philosophy is in many ways a very late child of this old liberalism (and several other ideological parents) but it is not its direct and only successor. This also partly explains why tens of millions of Americans hold superficially-identified-as libertarian ideals (mistrust of federal institutions, a strong valuation of gun and property rights, a push for lower taxes, etc.) but the utter lack of mass support for the Libertarian Party.

PS: To osgiliate the osgiliating: I think the term could soon be replaced with something from the TV series: eorlinging, arthedaining, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:31 pm 
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Found this on facebook today, seems appropriate to share it here and now:


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:15 pm 
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And then the same guy turns around and says, "But why didn't the government...."

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:43 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
The general idea that gov't should have very limited, specific powers and outside of that, should not be involved in people's lives.


I don't see that as a popular view in the US.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:08 pm 
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Tweeted by a Deseret News Reporter.

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https://twitter.com/kelsey_dallas/statu ... 0299527168 via JK Rowling

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:21 pm 
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Wrong within normal parameters
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So is that supposed to be an argument for or against guns? So confused...


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:22 pm 
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I don't think Jesus would have carried or used a gun, nor would he have advocated for them. I find this kind of stuff misguided to the point of willful, twisted corruption of Christianity.

In response to your question, Dave, it would be quite the miracle if a gun would allow one to be physically alive for 2,000 years. I suppose they are thinking that bodily life is more important than their immortal soul?


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:00 pm 
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I genuinely don't understand if that bumper sticker is meant seriously or if it is trying to be some sort of weird, ironic joke. Very, very strange.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:43 pm 
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Yovargas, agreed. It is .. bizarre.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:28 am 
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It's a joke I think aimed at the overlap between evangelical Christians and gun rights advocates.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:26 am 
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I took it as a joke as well.


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