Monday, November 28, 2016
Monday, September 5, 2016
"Among the numerous advantages promised by a well-constructed union, none deserves to be more accurately developed, than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. The friend of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate, as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice."
Oh, one vice people are getting alarmed over the government getting in the way of getting things done, so there's that.
REWRITE: The friend of popular governments never finds himself so alarmed for the character and fate of said government than when he contemplates the propensity of factions to engage in the dangerous vice of violence. One of the advantages of a well-constructed union is to break and control this vice.
"The instability, injustice, and confusion, introduced into the public counsels"...
Yeah, violence from factions isn't the sole source of that.
"The valuable improvements made by the American constitutions on the popular models, both ancient and modern, cannot certainly be too much admired;"
Uh huh. Language of a confidence trickster. Instead of telling us the advantages and letting us weigh their value for ourselves, he is telling us to take his word for it that they are there, and furthermore there is no extent admiring it could be too much.
[It would be a mistake] ..."to contend that they have as effectually obviated the danger on this side, as was wished and expected."
Assuming that they aren't making these sorts of problems actually worse. But he wouldn't even consider that possibility.
"Complaints are every where heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens"...
Yeah, more confidence game talk. It just so happens that the people who have the views he wants validated are the most considerate and virtuous. Surprise, surprise. And "everywhere"? Where do they find the time?
"It will be found, indeed, on a candid review of our situation, that some of the distresses under which we labour, have been erroneously charged on the operation of our governments;"
Really? Which ones? I think he expects us to assume all of them, since he can't be bothered to specify which ones, or even which ones are legitimate, or acknowledge the possibility that some distresses not blamed on government may actually belong there.
"These must be chiefly, if not wholly, effects of the unsteadiness and injustice, with which a factious spirit has tainted our public administrations."
Yeah, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask for proof that unsteadiness and injustice are due to the human tendency to form factions and not due to a lack of a sense of fair play.
"By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community."
Yeah, well sorry, just because everyone isn't linked up into some hive mind, it doesn't mean that they are out to get everyone else.
Friday, August 26, 2016
" The reason Hamilton gave for favoring a large public debt was not to finance any particular project, or to stabilize financial markets, but to combine the interests of the affluent people of the country — particularly business people — to the government. As the owners of government bonds, he reasoned, they would forever support his agenda of higher taxes and bigger government."
Tell that to people who want to say that people collecting welfare are the most likely to be supportive of the government.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
"Hamilton's program as Secretary of the Treasury was animated by his practical interest in laying the foundations of American security and prosperity, not by any progressive concern..."
Monday, August 22, 2016
The Yale professor says that what makes one person laugh makes another person cry, but I see no awareness of that in Hobbes' writing.
The professor says that Hobbes is facinated with the sheer number of human desires, but when Hobbes speaks of human desires he says of those innate to man, "not many". He says there are more that come of "Experience", but he doesn't seem particularly enthused about it.
The professor says that a person who has a revelation about religion cannot impose that on another, but what the professor forgets is that Hobbes has already stated that there is on person who can, the State.
Yeah, Hobbes asks the reader to check himself. I checked myself and the answer is no, Hobbes, many times, no, though people in rural areas are more likely to leave their doors unlocked than those in the city.
It never occurs to the professor that the pressures imposed by civil society cause the evils attributed to the state of nature.
I rarely feel any fear and I am openly questioning the legitimacy of this government.. Take that Hobbes.
The professor is so dulled in his blind acceptance of Hobbes that he doesn't even realize that his example of the trusting Yale students contradicts Hobbes.
Hobbes is not merely saying that people are insecure in their possessions but that people also always feel insecure, but the professor doesn't get that.
I posit that just as much, if not moreso, people are inclined to work together to solve their problems. However, there are bad actors, lacking in Hobbes analysis, that somehow haven't gotten the message, and it is these and not "everybody else" that we protect our possessions against.
Hobbes total authority government can only become the worst bad actor.
Alright so the professor finally acknowledges the rational actor strives for peace. But theb he points out that Hobbes doesn't believe that people are like this. I would go so far as to say that it doesn't even occur to Hobbes that people could even operate in this state of rationality. The professor goes on to reassert that Hobbes recognizes that people are diverse, something I don't see evident in Hobbes' writing. He then states Hobbes notion that fear and pride predominate in Man; two things I try to have as little to do with in this mode as possible.
The professor says that Hobbes wants pride more than anything to be kept in check, but a State with absolute authority results in the pride of the ruling class running rampant and unchecked.
The professor goes on to speak of the fear of death which is apparently the only value Hobbes can think of as a motive for peace. Neither companionship, nor the befits of working together even occur to Hobbes.
And as for peace, people crave some violence in their lives and Hobbes is completely oblivious to this need.
The professor asks why Hobbes still calls his own version of what he wants the reader to think is the same as laws of old laws even though Hobbes says it is a misnomer. The most likely reason is that Hobbes wants them to have the impact in his reader's mind that calling them laws gives.
The professor asks if he goes too far to say that Hobbes says "Give peace a chance". In a sense he does not go far enough. Hobbes is saying sacrifice everything else for peace.
The professor is equally blind as to why Hobbes values peace so highly. His home life growing up was with a violent father and then the war was a thing. Hobbes valued highly what was denied him.
The professor goes on to say that Hobbes valued life. I find that Hobbes valued the industry that life generated and that life was merely incidental to that.
So I see this at work: Hobbes valued peace because it was denied him and he valued industry as a justification for valuing peace.
The professor says the Sovereign is more an office than a person, but it seems to me that the Sovereign is more an organization than the other two.
The professor pictures Hobbes with a wry grin on his face when relating Hobbes' declaration that David did Uriah no harm, but I picture him with an earnest expression saying, "No, I really mean it." when confronted with the statement, "You've got to be