Friday, February 7, 2014

Till Freedom is Gone, The Pursuit of the Hegelian Dialectic in Life and Government

"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." - Thomas Jefferson.

I once had a man tell me that he was voting for a particular Democratic candidate because he (the voter) was "a Jeffersonian Democrat."   I told him if Thomas Jefferson could somehow spend twenty minutes talking to his candidate, he would probably challenge him to a duel.

Men like Thomas Jefferson aren't welcome in the Democratic party anymore, nor much these days in the Republican party.  Both are increasingly centralized collectives, where the pressure to be a "team player" grows stronger each decade.   To be clear, the folks back home who elected someone to an office are never considered to be the office-holder's "team", rather the globally-financed collective known as a political party is.  

When the goal becomes unity or agreement rather than truth, principle is not just irrelevant, its a hindrance.     This process of squeezing principle, which is to say what is right and wrong, out of the equation of government occurs at least twice- one is the pressure to conform within one's own party and the second when some accommodation between the two parties is sought.

How did we ever reach such an unprincipled place?  Some readers might not be familiar with the Hegelian dialectic, and Dean Gotcher's expose on it, but we should.  The results are affecting our lives daily.  The Hegelian dialectic is another way to resolve disputes besides the classical way of presenting evidence to determine who is "right" or "wrong".  With the Hegelian dialectic truth or falsehood is irrelevant to problem solving.  "Truth" need not even exist and becomes irrelevant to the process. This makes the Hegelian Dialectic the method of choice for dispute resolution for a post-modern culture which has rejected the very concept of absolute truth.

This is how the Hegelian dialectic works: It starts with a Thesis (an idea or proposal).  Standing against the thesis is an Anti-thesis (an opposing idea or proposal).  The goal is "Synthesis", a compromise or coming together of the two positions.  Thesis - Anti-Thesis ---> Synthesis.  Of course politicians who "solve" problems using this method always compromise and never stand on principle.  That is because they are functioning within a model where compromise is the only principle.

While the ruling class has abandoned the idea of absolute truth, much of the population has not. This is often why people wind up talking past each other when having debates over issues.   One side is trying to make a case that what they espouse is true and right.  This side does not understand why the other cares so little for the evidence. The other side is trying to find "common ground" for accommodation and final synthesis of the two positions, and does not understand why the other is being so "intransigent".

It is often appropriate to find a way to come together with people, in particular in matters of style.  But when it is a matter of the truth or a lie, coming together produces a half-truth, which is to say an untruth.    With matters of right and wrong, this method of problem solving is guaranteed to never get the correct answer, unlike a dispute-resolution method with truth-discovery as the goal.

Sadly, our present culture has no love of the truth, and no patience with seeking it out.   Such a culture will invariably wind up drenched and permeated in lies, as our culture has become.  The mess we are in is not an accident.  It is the unavoidable outcome of our failure as a society to love the truth.  The problem will only get worse until people began to tire of it, repent, and value the truth as a goal above other things.

If and when a love of truth returns to our culture, our institutions will no longer automatically accept a Hegelian framework to resolve disputes.  Such a method is only appropriate on questions of procedure not principle.  That is, "how should we go about accomplishing "X" should only be addressed after it is determined on principle that 1) "X" is something that could be done and 2) "X" that we, whoever we are, are the proper ones to be doing it.

The health care debate is a prominent example of the problem.   The Democrats propose a major expansion of government, and the Republicans are automatically under pressure to "do something" to provide health care to Americans without it.   The idea that it should simply be repealed, leaving us back where we were until a truly better idea comes along, has been set aside.  Instead, they have produced their own plan, which is not that dissimilar to the disaster now wrecking havoc with the U.S. healthcare system.   The only thing many Republicans in Congress don't like about Obamacare is the Obama, along with the fact that their friends get too many of the bills and too little of the loot.   There is no objection on principle to more government plunder, only an objection as to the procedures and details by which it is distributed.

Within the Hegelian dialectic, whichever side makes the most demands automatically wins.  All the advantage then goes to the side who first demands the change.   Whenever someone advances a Thesis, those who hold the Anti-thesis view on that question are supposed to meet them in the middle.

If powerful interests wanted Americans to be subsumed into a global collective, they could do it by having the party most identified with centralizing and growing government be the party that is always on the offensive and making sweeping proposals.   Then they could make the other party, the one who is supposed to be the "opposition" to the growing-government party, a reactionary party.  That is, rather than pushing for big changes that truly roll back the size and scope of government intrusion into our lives, they simply react against the expansions proposed by the other side.   The media can then beat the drums for "compromise" and berate the passive party for "just saying no" and "having no ideas of their own."   The public's illusion of a free society is, for a time, preserved, but the march towards totalitarianism will never be stopped until the destination is reached.

If you wish you and your children to live in a totalitarian police state, just relax and keep doing what you have been doing- you need change nothing.  You can continue to invest all of your political capital in the two existing political parties and this will inevitably occur.   If you desire any other outcome, you must do something different.  You must become a part of a better way of doing politics which escapes and end-runs the Hegelian trap and makes government incapable of doing anything for which there is not broad public agreement. A model for this can be found at


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