Author Topic: Conservatism needs work 2.0  (Read 6540 times)

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Offline FJAG

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #50 on: July 17, 2018, 14:53:27 »
I'm too lazy to dig our citations (Diarmed MacCulloch would be one source) but in Christendom, at least (I don't know about the Jews) the church didn't take any interest in common marriages until some time around the year 1,000. The Church was very interested in the marriage contracts of the nobility and so on, but ordinary people made what were, essentially, civll contracts ... usually in front of family members, sometimes for prosperous commoners in front of the whole village.

As stone churches became more common they were the "best" place in the village and many marriages were celebrated on the church steps ~ rather like my son and daughter-in-law who chose (and paid heavily for a permit for) a site for their wedding which had the iconic Sydney Opera House as a backdrop. Some clerics began to see this as a good source of revenue and offered, for a small fee, to officiate at the ceremony ... but, in most of the Anglo-Saxon world (including in Hong Kong) we still have a formal, civil, contractual element of marriage that s required even if a marriage is officiated by a clergyman.

Maybe the "traditional," "religious construct" isn't as traditional as we believe.

Interesting information that. It got me looking into things a bit further.

I specifically looked at ancient Roman marriages because after the birth of Christianity and for a while thereafter, Roman law and society were the go-to standard (if not the traditional or even prevailing standard)

Roman marriages were monogamous (one man, one woman) when much of the Mediterranean world was into the one man, multiple wives scenario.

Religious ceremonies were a very rare event used only in the highest of patrician families in the course of a confarreatio (or sharing of spelt bread) wedding ceremony. For lesser patricians the ceremony was not so much religious but merely an acknowledgement that the bride was moving from being under the power (manus or hand) of her father to that of her husband. I think that the reason we still have the father of the bride giving his daughter's hand in marriage relates back to the manus concept. Amongst plebeians, the typical marriage was either by coemptio, (purchase) or by usus (habitual cohabitation)

In general the whole thing was contractual (either between the father of the bride and the putative husband or as between the two parties themselves if they simply drifted into habitual cohabitation.) and not religious.

For anyone more interested, look here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_in_ancient_Rome

 :cheers:
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Offline pbi

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #51 on: July 24, 2018, 06:20:39 »
Here is a very good piece by Harper's former Comms director. It goes back to a point I tried to make earlier on these pages about the need for moderate conservatives to be careful who they share a trench with, and why accuracy, truthfulness and avoiding Twitter mudslinging will gain the moral high ground much faster:[urlhttp://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/conservatives-migrant-ad-1.4758616][/url]
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline Journeyman

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #52 on: July 24, 2018, 09:06:31 »
Here is a very good piece by Harper's former Comms director.

I feel that this point is particularly valid.
Quote
Yes, there are frothing trolls on both sides, but sadly those on the right tend to be louder (and more repellant to the tastemakers). That's why conservatives need to be ultra-mindful of the company they keep, especially online.....

The last bit counts treble in the age of Trump. Trumpism might be seen by some on the Canadian right as a route to power, but it's a highly corrosive approach for Canadian soil. It also happens to be the best route back to power for Trudeau

Offline Xylric

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #53 on: July 25, 2018, 04:18:19 »
Given my academic background (Bachelor of Religious Education), I will proudly admit to being a conservative, though with a very specific definition I suspect to be unique to myself. After all, in the recent Ontario provincial election, I did the pragmatic thing and voted for the NDP because one element of their platform directly applied to me. I agree with my late grandfather that the best possible outcome for Canada is a government which is fiscally conservative, but is socially adaptive. My definition of Conservatism is quite simple, as it adheres to three core assumptions which I've spent the better part of my life trying to disprove. They are as follows:

1. Civilization is a polite fiction which exists only because of the mutual trust between its adherents. (When's the last time you checked to see if the water you were given at a restaurant was poisoned?)

2. Core societal ideals should not be tampered with unless one has a thorough understanding not only of how they came into existence, but also what, if any, practical function they may possess. (My go-to example for this is, rather unsurprisingly, religion itself - bad things happen when it gets completely banned from a society)

3. Humans are an inherently predatory species whose core social structure is that of small packs, nearly functionally indistinguishable from that of wolves. (Tribalism is inescapable. Accept it, adapt to it, and take advantage from it)

The net result of the interaction of these core assumptions (which should be continually challenged, because the moment one of those is demonstrated as untenable, the entire assembled structure must collapse) can be summed up in a two word pithy principle of "Ruthless Kindness." Basically, so far as it is possible, do not seek to cause harm to those around you so long as those around you do not seek to cause harm to you or others (AKA the Golden Rule). With kindness, trust naturally follows. While it is not uncommon for acts of kindness to be treated with suspicion and distrust, a continued practice leaves little doubt that one has no wish to cause harm.

A tribe which ruthlessly adheres to its internal rules is a known quantity, and thus predictable. There's a peculiar quirk that occurs between a married couple (to my knowledge is known in heterosexual parings, I do not know the equivalent neurology in alternative pairings, and see little reason to presume either difference or similarity) in which the two member's brains rewire themselves in order to become more appealing and more complementary to their partner. One could extrapolate this symbiotic quirk from a coupling to the interactions on the level of tribes. Continual iteration makes it fairly easy to extrapolate the organism we refer to as a nation state, and reveals just precisely how frail a being it is.

Thus, to my eyes, both what is generally known as conservatism is equally critical to the health of a nation as liberalism - and it's not at all uncommon for one person to be both liberal and conservative on the same issue in particular circumstances - there's a reason why I believe that for the health of a society, the capacity for disagreement must be held sacrosanct. If we lack a framework in which we can voice disagreement, we lack a framework to have any sort of productive rational discussion.

Offline Journeyman

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #54 on: July 25, 2018, 08:53:47 »
Thus, to my eyes, both what is generally known as conservatism is equally critical to the health of a nation as liberalism - and it's not at all uncommon for one person to be both liberal and conservative on the same issue in particular circumstances - there's a reason why I believe that for the health of a society, the capacity for disagreement must be held sacrosanct. If we lack a framework in which we can voice disagreement, we lack a framework to have any sort of productive rational discussion.
You were doing well until your last three words, "productive rational discussion."

This site, for example, has a framework in which people can voice disagreement -- you hit respond or quote -- while theoretically, Moderators will weigh in to keep discourse civil.

Yet how rarely have the politics threads produced 'productive, rational discussion' versus simply devolving into merely repeating ones' views ad infinitum, or name-calling, or throwing ones' teddy bear and stomping off?  How often does someone start a post with, "I think...."  when it's painfully obvious that they have not.... nor are they likely to;  that would require questioning their comfortably-established beliefs and reading (with an attempt to understand) other sources and perspectives.

As an example, pick any one of the growing number of Trump/US vs everything  threads currently running.  They have all settled into a pattern of 2-3 people posting useful, informative details/links,  a few bleating "Trump is awesome" in response to the same number mindlessly bellyaching "everything Trump is Satanic," with an overwhelming majority of content simply repeating  " 'I think I'm correct'...  'I'm sure you do'."

So, while not one of your "core values," I suspect one could add:

Our current political belief system is broken. The tenets of liberalism and conservativism have a significant amount overlap;  in order to provide a different marketable brand, both sides increasingly seek out the more extreme elements who are less informed or constrained by reality.  As the edges become more shrill, it makes for 'better,' but more shallow, headlines and Twitter posts.  This inevitably disillusions the majority within that central overlap, most of whom will eventually walk away in disgust, forsaking political thinking and action to the more radicalized, often irrational, individuals.


And with that, yet again, I'll dismount my hobbyhorse and back away from Politics.

Offline pbi

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #55 on: July 25, 2018, 11:32:04 »
Quote
Yet how rarely have the politics threads produced 'productive, rational discussion' versus simply devolving into merely repeating ones' views ad infinitum, or name-calling, or throwing ones' teddy bear and stomping off?  How often does someone start a post with, "I think...."  when it's painfully obvious that they have not.... nor are they likely to;  that would require questioning their comfortably-established beliefs and reading (with an attempt to understand) other sources and perspectives.

I see your point of frustration that posters don't always (or maybe, ever...) behave in a civil manner. Yes-they do the stuff you refer to (I may be one of those sinners), but that doesn't discount the fact that most behave themselves. Nor does it (in my opinion) mean that we should give up on civil discourse and rational argument. We need it more than ever, surrounded as we are by social media that instantly propagates all sorts of vile, stupid and poisonous trash along with the good stuff.

I don't agree that there is anything automatically wrong in starting a post with "I think", or "in my opinion". I do it all the time. If this site is not a place to express opinions and beliefs, then what is it? I hope it's not just about seeing how many links or long article extracts we can post. Hopefully we aren't saying that our own thoughts have no value unless buttressed by somebody else's?

Quote
Our current political belief system is broken. The tenets of liberalism and conservativism have a significant amount overlap;  in order to provide a different marketable brand, both sides increasingly seek out the more extreme elements who are less informed or constrained by reality.  As the edges become more shrill, it makes for 'better,' but more shallow, headlines and Twitter posts.  This inevitably disillusions the majority within that central overlap, most of whom will eventually walk away in disgust, forsaking political thinking and action to the more radicalized, often irrational, individuals.

I'm with you here. This is what scares me: that reasonable people of all persuasion will quit the field, leaving it to the screamers. I fear we're seeing it now.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline Journeyman

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #56 on: July 25, 2018, 11:43:32 »
I don't agree that there is anything automatically wrong in starting a post with "I think", or "in my opinion".
I'm perfectly content with "I think," if they have... and "in my opinion," if it's an informed opinion.  :nod:
(Neither of which requires a piece of paper or course certificate on a wall, by the way).   

We've seen no shortage of rapid-fire  'yes..no...yes'  "discussions," where neither poster is actually reading and considering what the other person has just posted;  they simply have to say the same thing over again to get in the last word.... accomplishing nothing.   :not-again:


Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #57 on: July 25, 2018, 11:48:04 »
Just thinking (as in recalling, but with sentient re-consideration, JM ;) ) back to when a fiscally conservative, socially progressive group existed in Canada that seemed like a decent touch-point on the development timeline of democratic liberalism in the West.

...and then Stephen Harper reneged on his deal with Peter MacKay, and the *practical embodiment of the fiscally conservative, socially progressive ideology was no more in Canada. :(

Not sure if it will ever be back?

:2c:

Regards
G2G

*edited for spelling*
« Last Edit: July 25, 2018, 15:35:30 by Good2Golf »

Offline pbi

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #58 on: July 25, 2018, 12:39:47 »
Just thinking (as in recalling, but with sentient re-consideration, JM ;) ) back to when a fiscally conservative, socially progressive group existed in Canada that seemed like a decent touch-point on the development timeline of democratic liberalism in the West.

...and then Stephen Harper reneged on his deal with Peter MacKay, and the paractocal embodiment of the fiscally conservative, socially progressive ideology was no more in Canada. :(

Not sure if it will ever be back?

:2c:

Regards
G2G
It will, if the Tories want to get in again. I would vote for that in a heartbeat.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline FJAG

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #59 on: July 25, 2018, 12:58:34 »
Just thinking (as in recalling, but with sentient re-consideration, JM ;) ) back to when a fiscally conservative, socially progressive group existed in Canada that seemed like a decent touch-point on the development timeline of democratic liberalism in the West.

...and then Stephen Harper reneged on his deal with Peter MacKay, and the paractocal embodiment of the fiscally conservative, socially progressive ideology was no more in Canada. :(

Not sure if it will ever be back?

:2c:

Regards
G2G

I think that much of the problem with the party is the problem that was discussed above about folks that post on forums.

There's a group of us/them that are much more invested in the more extreme end of the arguments and with typical "squeaky wheel gets the grease" results end up controlling the nomination and election process within local ridings and national platforms.

It seems to me that the people who are more radical, or have a specific ax to grind (and in the last ON election much of that seemed to focus on, of all things, sex education) get much more involved in the process and as such take charge of it.

I think that we won't get back to where you and I think we need to be until a lot more of us moderates get off our collective butts and get more involved.

 :cheers:
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Offline Xylric

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #60 on: July 25, 2018, 12:58:42 »

Our current political belief system is broken. The tenets of liberalism and conservativism have a significant amount overlap;  in order to provide a different marketable brand, both sides increasingly seek out the more extreme elements who are less informed or constrained by reality.  As the edges become more shrill, it makes for 'better,' but more shallow, headlines and Twitter posts.  This inevitably disillusions the majority within that central overlap, most of whom will eventually walk away in disgust, forsaking political thinking and action to the more radicalized, often irrational, individuals.

I agree in general, though may quibble on the specifics. I tend to believe that as far as neuroscience is concerned, the deeper into the processes one gets, the fewer differences exist between political ideology and religious belief (one could argue that the nation state itself replaces the concept of God, but that would get very messy). The extreme left and extreme right are just as dangerous as any religious extremist, it's just the specific hazard posed by each presents a very different profile.

I could add a fourth core assumption rather easily - Hatred functions as sociological entropy and has only destructive purpose.

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #61 on: July 25, 2018, 15:39:58 »
I think that we won't get back to where you and I think we need to be until a lot more of us moderates get off our collective butts and get more involved.

 :cheers:

FJAG, agreed.  :nod:  I discussed this need with one of my Aunts, who happened to be part of a number of Joe Clark's election campaigns, and she fully agreed that the middle masses need to be sitting on our butts complaining a lot less, and more on our feet engaging and talking.

Regards,
G2G

Offline FJAG

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #62 on: July 25, 2018, 19:16:01 »
FJAG, agreed.  :nod:  I discussed this need with one of my Aunts, who happened to be part of a number of Joe Clark's election campaigns, and she fully agreed that the middle masses need to be sitting on our butts complaining a lot less, and more on our feet engaging and talking.

Regards,
G2G

I certainly put myself in that number. I was very involved with the local riding back in Manitoba but since moving to Ontario I've been completely uninvolved other than voting. I've let my membership lapse. Wonder how many more there are like me these days?

 :cheers:

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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #63 on: August 05, 2018, 16:09:44 »
Perhaps what is missing is a clear definitional understanding of what principles are at work (which isn't helped by the deliberate mangling of the language, what we call "conservative" today was "liberal" in the Enlightenment, while current Liberalism is very reactionary, and indeed embraces many collectivist and even totalitarian elements from 20th century mass political movements. And then of course there is the endless refrain that "National Socialists" are somehow "right wing", an artifact of 1930 era Soviet propaganda. Stalin would be so proud).

In many cases, I suspect the problem is also the changed environment has rendered many of the systems, structures and institutions obsolete (the prime example is the distinction between "Left" and "Right", which reflected the seating arrangement's of the Assembly just prior to the French Revolution.

This article looks at an alternative to "Left" and "Right" (but points out the pejorative nature of "Open" and "Closed", as well as the rather inverted meanings these take in the way they are used).

https://unherd.com/2018/08/deeper-meaning-open-closed/

Quote
The deeper meaning of Open and Closed
Peter Franklin
PETER FRANKLIN
03 AUGUST 2018 | @peterfranklin_

Following Brexit, Trump and the formation of a populist government in Italy, there would seem to be an open-and-shut case for open-and-closed.

And yet there’s a big problem with the narrative surrounding the concept. If one looks at the numerous opinion pieces that have appeared on the subject since 2016, almost all of them are written from an ‘open’ perspective. And no wonder! Who would want to identify themselves as being ‘closed’?


Read part two of this essay
The rise and rise of Open and Closed

BY PETER FRANKLIN
The associations of the word are not encouraging: closed mind, closed session, closed membership, closed shop, closed doors, closed borders. Contrast that with the associations of ‘open’: open minded, open hearted, open handed, open to offers, open door, open house, the open road – the list goes on-and-on .

At least the terminology of left-and-right sounds neutral to modern ears.1 The language of open-and-closed, by contrast, is one-sided in the impressions it conveys – and is intended to convey.

That’s something that any open-minded liberal ought to recognise. Some of them do. One such is Adrian Wooldridge – the current custodian of the Bagehot column in the Economist:2

“Open v closed clearly matters… [but] the division is too self-serving for comfort. It looks more like ammunition for a political war than dispassionate analysis, and thereby contributes to the polarisation that it claims to diagnose.”

Wooldridge also questions the idea that open-versus-closed is just another way of saying liberal-versus-illiberal:

“Consider Brexit. Remainers regard it as the quintessential revolt against the open society. Yet some of the most prominent Leavers, such as Daniel Hannan and Douglas Carswell, are classical liberals who regard the European Union as a protectionist bloc that is bent on subsidising inefficient industries.”

That said, there are some populist leaders who are clearly illiberal – because they’ve said so themselves. For instance, the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has declared his intention to build “an illiberal state, a non-liberal state.”3

West of the old Iron Curtain, however, populist rhetoric tends to take a different tone. ‘Closed’ policies on immigration, trade and international obligations are often presented as a defence of liberal values – for instance, of secularism,4 women’s rights5 or a ‘level playing field’ in trade6 – against those who do not share western values or play by the same rules.

-snip-

Read the rest at the link.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #64 on: August 10, 2018, 01:33:21 »
One example of the problem "solving itself": Jordan Peterson's discourses on Youtube ("Maps of Meaning") and especially his book "12 Rules for Life" is changing the discourse in ways that are outside the boundaries of current political discourse (much like the "Open and Closed"  labels discussed upthread). By essentially kicking the props from under "Identity politics", Peterson provides avenues for discourse on many topics which were long considered off limits, much to the fury of "Progressives":

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/08/why-the-left-is-so-afraid-of-jordan-peterson/567110/

Quote
Why the Left Is So Afraid of Jordan Peterson
The Canadian psychology professor’s stardom is evidence that leftism is on the decline—and deeply vulnerable.

CAITLIN FLANAGAN
AUG 9, 2018

Two years ago, I walked downstairs and saw one of my teenage sons watching a strange YouTube video on the television.

“What is that?” I asked.

He turned to me earnestly and explained, “It’s a psychology professor at the University of Toronto talking about Canadian law.”

“Huh?” I said, but he had already turned back to the screen. I figured he had finally gotten to the end of the internet, and this was the very last thing on it.

That night, my son tried to explain the thing to me, but it was a buzzing in my ear, and I wanted to talk about something more interesting. It didn’t matter; it turned out a number of his friends—all of them like him: progressive Democrats, with the full range of social positions you would expect of adolescents growing up in liberal households in blue-bubble Los Angeles—had watched the video as well, and they talked about it to one another. 

The boys graduated from high school and went off to colleges where they were exposed to the kind of policed discourse that dominates American campuses. They did not make waves; they did not confront the students who were raging about cultural appropriation and violent speech; in fact, they forged close friendships with many of them. They studied and wrote essays and—in their dorm rooms, on the bus to away games, while they were working out—began listening to more and more podcasts and lectures by this man, Jordan Peterson.

The young men voted for Hillary, they called home in shock when Trump won, they talked about flipping the House, and they followed Peterson to other podcasts—to Sam Harris and Dave Rubin and Joe Rogan. What they were getting from these lectures and discussions, often lengthy and often on arcane subjects, was perhaps the only sustained argument against identity politics they had heard in their lives.

That might seem like a small thing, but it’s not. With identity politics off the table, it was possible to talk about all kinds of things—religion, philosophy, history, myth—in a different way. They could have a direct experience with ideas, not one mediated by ideology. All of these young people, without quite realizing it, were joining a huge group of American college students who were pursuing a parallel curriculum, right under the noses of the people who were delivering their official educations.

Because all of this was happening silently, called down from satellites and poured in through earbuds—and not on campus free-speech zones where it could be monitored, shouted down, and reported to the appropriate authorities—the left was late in realizing what an enormous problem it was becoming for it. It was like the 1960s, when kids were getting radicalized before their parents realized they’d quit glee club. And it was not just college students. Not by a long shot.

Around the country, all sorts of people were listening to these podcasts. Joe Rogan’s sui generis show, with its surpassingly eclectic mix of guests and subjects, was a frequent locus of Peterson’s ideas, whether advanced by the man himself, or by the thinkers with whom he is loosely affiliated. Rogan’s podcast is downloaded many millions of times each month. Whatever was happening, it was happening on a scale and with a rapidity that was beyond the ability of the traditional culture keepers to grasp. When the left finally realized what was happening, all it could do was try to bail out the Pacific Ocean with a spoon.

The alarms sounded when Peterson published what quickly became a massive bestseller, 12 Rules for Life, because books are something that the left recognizes as drivers of culture. The book became the occasion for vicious profiles and editorials, but it was difficult to attack the work on ideological grounds, because it was an apolitical self-help book that was at once more literary and more helpful than most, and that was moreover a commercial success. All of this frustrated the critics. It’s just common sense! they would say, in one arch way or another, and that in itself was telling: Why were they so angry about common sense?

The critics knew the book was a bestseller, but they couldn’t really grasp its reach because people like them weren’t reading it, and because it did not originally appear on The New York Times’s list, as it was first published in Canada. However, it is often the bestselling nonfiction book on Amazon, and—perhaps more important—its audiobook has been a massive seller. As with Peterson’s podcasts and videos, the audience is made up of people who are busy with their lives—folding laundry, driving commercial trucks on long hauls, sitting in traffic from cubicle to home, exercising. This book was putting words to deeply held feelings that many of them had not been able to express before.

Read the rest at the link
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Colin P

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #65 on: August 10, 2018, 10:54:08 »
I read that yesterday, thank god we do have people like him stirring the intellectual pot. I do like the term "Intellectual Dark Web"  8) 

Offline FSTO

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #66 on: August 10, 2018, 11:28:35 »
I read that yesterday, thank god we do have people like him stirring the intellectual pot. I do like the term "Intellectual Dark Web"  8)

Yesterday on CBC's Power and Politics, the Liberal talking head (who happens to be the spouse of the PM's COS) was taking aim at the conservatives as xenophobic, alt right mouth pieces (a preview of the Libs election strategy?).
He then ended his little tirade with this gem "the Rebel Media is their base, Jordan Peterson is their base". I know that many progressives have accused Peterson as Alt Right, but I didn't think the LPC would make that leap so forcefully.

Offline Xylric

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #67 on: August 10, 2018, 12:13:12 »
Yesterday on CBC's Power and Politics, the Liberal talking head (who happens to be the spouse of the PM's COS) was taking aim at the conservatives as xenophobic, alt right mouth pieces (a preview of the Libs election strategy?).
He then ended his little tirade with this gem "the Rebel Media is their base, Jordan Peterson is their base". I know that many progressives have accused Peterson as Alt Right, but I didn't think the LPC would make that leap so forcefully.

Peterson strikes me as a liberal in the most classical of sense - the kind of person politicians dislike regardless of any political leanings.