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Thursday, January 31, 2008

'Stay Poor' but Get Rich: The Clinton Dialectic Exposed

In a recent speech, Bill Clinton said:

"And maybe America, and Europe, and Japan, and Canada -- the rich counties -- would say, 'OK, we just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions 'cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren.' We could do that.

"But if we did that, you know as well as I do, China and India and Indonesia and Vietnam and Mexico and Brazil and the Ukraine, and all the other countries will never agree to stay poor to save the planet for our grandchildren. The only way we can do this is if we get back in the world's fight against global warming and prove it is good economics that we will create more jobs to build a sustainable economy that saves the planet for our children and grandchildren. It is the only way it will work.

Those who have read my blog know my argument that environmentalists really are not concerned about human life but value nature instrinsically and therefore see man (who must reshape earth for his survival) as an enemy of the environment whose progress must be thwarted. Logically, limiting or stopping human progress necessitates human sacrifice. This is pretty typical stuff, right? What's more interesting about this speech is the blatant contradiction between calling for the economy to slow down amid expressions of concern relating to countries not wanting to "stay poor" and the claim that such a slow down is 'good economics' which lead to 'millions and milions of jobs'. More from Clinton:

"And guess what? The only places in the world today in rich countries where you have rising wages and declining inequality are places that have generated more jobs than rich countries because they made a commitment we didn't. They got serious about a clean, efficient, green, independent energy future… If you want that in America, if you want the millions of jobs that will come from it, if you would like to see a new energy trust fund to finance solar energy and wind energy and biomass and responsible bio-fuels and electric hybrid plug-in vehicles that will soon get 100 miles a gallon, if you want every facility in this country to be made maximally energy efficient that will create millions and millions and millions of jobs, vote for her. She'll give it to you. She's got the right energy plan."

So, according to Bill, we must slow down the economy, stay poor, yet this will somehow create millions of new jobs because of an "energy trust fund" that will create "sustainable" energy which will benefit our grandchildren. Huh?

Remember that Clinton is famous for splitting hairs over the meaning of the word 'is'. I think there is a pattern here. I believe that this type of "argument" has a term in modern philsophy: the so-called dialectic process. Let's let Hegel and Marx explain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialectic:

As in the Socratic dialectic, Hegel claimed to proceed by making implicit contradictions explicit: each stage of the process is the product of contradictions inherent or implicit in the preceding stage. ...The Hegelian dialectic cannot be mechanically applied for any chosen thesis. Critics argue that the selection of any antithesis, other than the logical negation of the thesis, is subjective. Then, if the logical negation is used as the antithesis, there is no rigorous way to derive a synthesis. In practice, when an antithesis is selected to suit the user's subjective purpose, the resulting "contradictions" are rhetorical, not logical, and the resulting synthesis not rigorously defensible against a multitude of other possible syntheses...."

...This is what Marx had to say about the difference between Hegel's dialectics and his own:

"My dialectic method is not only different from the Hegelian, but is its direct opposite. To Hegel, the life-process of the human brain, i.e., the process of thinking, which, under the name of 'the Idea,' he even transforms into an independent subject, is the demiurgos of the real world, and the real world is only the external, phenomenal form of 'the Idea.' With me, on the contrary, the ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought."

Marx wrote:
"The mystification which dialectic suffers in Hegel's hands, by no means prevents him from being the first to present its general form of working in a comprehensive and conscious manner. With him it is standing on its head. It must be turned right side up again, if you would discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell."

Got all that? Now Clinton's argument makes perfect sense, right? (Like all good socialists, I'm sure Clinton paid great attention to 19th century German philosophy.) The real point is that modern philosophy has intellectually disarmed the public. This type of nonsense is taken seriously and serves only to undermine the validity of reason and actual logic with the consequence that modern intellectuals have no ability to evaluate nor to condemn blatant contradictions from political leaders. According to modern intellectuals, who can really know anything for sure (except, of course, that America and capitalism are evil)?

With respect to Clinton himself, I believe there is a psychological element to his madness which revolves around two interrelated issues: control and rage. Often a child lies to get his way. If he gets away with it enough times then it becomes a way to control the world around him. As he becomes an adult, compulsive lying yields the sense of being able to control reality itself. Clinton's compulsive lying is of course legendary. Also, note that Clinton's daring sexcapades fulfills this pathological need to control reality. To fool people and get away with it, whether it be a political lie or sexual adventures with the secretary while a diplomat (or his wife) sits in the other room, accomplishes the same goal psychologically: a sense of power emanati1ng from the feeling of controlling reality.

If you think I'm way off, then read the following from a NY Times article:

Mr. Clinton has reflected on his temper over the years, perhaps most revealingly in his autobiography. At one point in it, he recalls a day in junior high school when he hit a boy who had been taunting him. It was a moment from which he came to draw lessons.

“I was a little disturbed by my anger, the currents of which would prove deeper and stronger in the years ahead,” Mr. Clinton wrote. “Because of the way Daddy behaved when he was angry and drunk, I associated anger with being out of control and I was determined not to lose control. Doing so could unleash the deeper, constant anger I kept locked away because I didn’t know where it came from.”

And this guy's running for president again....

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