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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Fish In A Barrel

From Yahoo news:

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama said the consensus from the White House health care summit is that there is an immediate need for health care reform, and signaled that he's open to compromise on Thursday.

Obama told participants at the end of a health summit that although he offered a plan during last year's campaign, he isn't wedded to that proposal. He told Republicans and Democrats, doctors and insurers — "I just want to figure out what works."

Seriously, this is becoming too easy. I have said over and over that Obama's essential philosophy is pragmatism. He is, in fact, a gross caricature of the philosophy of pragmatism. The above is a stunning example.

Since pragmatism holds that nothing is true and nothing can be proved absolutely (except of course the that absolutely nothing is true), the pragmatist must first seek consensus from others since he is unable to reach any independent conclusion. Since he rejects absolutes, he not only dismisses principles held by others but can not even firmly believe his own "hypotheses". Therefore, he openly seeks compromise and is willing to negotiate on anything. Who knows if one idea is right or wrong, just act and see what happens. There is no good or bad - let's negotiate, seek consensus, compromise, get something or anything done.

In this case, Obama is not even sure he is right. The consensus said there is need of health care reform so let's do it, but, to be sure, he is still open to compromise. He just wants to figure out what "works." This is his pattern on every issue not just health care. He forms a consensus from "experts", is willing to negotiate anything, and then acts. In fact, as we are now discovering, he brings a teleprompter wherever he goes. In other words, he appears unable to speak without a complete and literal rendering of the words which he is to utter. In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was able to offer the principle of unalienable rights thus enabling one to deduce concrete applications to an almost infinite variety of political questions. Over two hundred years of modern philosophy later, we now are observing the spectacle of a president who is so unprincipled (on principle) that he is unable to deal with virtually any concrete and is reduced to simply parroting words placed in front of him.

I can't help quoting Ayn Rand on pragmatism:

[The Pragmatists] declared that philosophy must be practical and that practicality consists of dispensing with all absolute principles and standards—that there is no such thing as objective reality or permanent truth—that truth is that which works, and its validity can be judged only by its consequences—that no facts can be known with certainty in advance, and anything may be tried by rule-of-thumb—that reality is not firm, but fluid and “indeterminate,” that there is no such thing as a distinction between an external world and a consciousness (between the perceived and the perceiver), there is only an undifferentiated package-deal labeled “experience,” and whatever one wishes to be true, is true, whatever one wishes to exist, does exist, provided it works or makes one feel better.

A later school of more Kantian Pragmatists amended this philosophy as follows. If there is no such thing as an objective reality, men’s metaphysical choice is whether the selfish, dictatorial whims of an individual or the democratic whims of a collective are to shape that plastic goo which the ignorant call “reality,” therefore this school decided that objectivity consists of collective subjectivism—that knowledge is to be gained by means of public polls among special elites of “competent investigators” who can “predict and control” reality—that whatever people wish to be true, is true, whatever people wish to exist, does exist, and anyone who holds any firm convictions of his own is an arbitrary, mystic dogmatist, since reality is indeterminate and people determine its actual nature.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

..."and anyone who holds any firm convictions of his own is an arbitrary, mystic dogmatist, since reality is indeterminate and people determine its actual nature."

Wow. Its amazing how much she saw. How many times have you heard empiricists (usually leftists) make that claim; ie only the religious believe in firm convictions and absolutes? Ayn Rand had them pegged decades ago.