Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Since I posted my note to Bertram I might as well post the deleted, "disemvoweled", comment. The discussion at CT has gotten worse and worse. The focus on freedom is just absurd. They're arguing morality in the shadow of Pereto efficiency, in the shadow because they don't really want to admit it.
See also the previous post.
Utopia by definition can not exist. Our obligations to others are real.

In an earlier post liberalism was defined as the ability to have obligations only of your choosing; but you can’t choose not to pay taxes and you can’t choose not to have parents. You can choose not to care for them, but is that considered acceptable under normal practice?

Democracy begins in obligation; citizens should be expected even required to understand issues related to governance. Most of the people I've known who've made the choice to be servants extend the logic of servant and master to their political morality. People who like to serve want to be cared for. The worst snobs are not the masters but the direct servants of the powerful. George Will and David Brooks have the arrogance not of rulers but of their attendants. Their anger is directed mostly at this who refuse to serve. Is democracy served by celebrating the freedom to vote as your master or your priest tells you? It is "a good" to understand the details of food preparation. If you eat meat you should visit a slaughterhouse. Dwellings need to be cleaned at least now and again so it is a good to experience the work of cleaning. It's not a good to want someone else to wipe your ass.  Is it a good if someone wants to?  Not if it’s an aspect of the pleasure in servility. In dreams begin responsibilities. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Democracy is in ideology. [Servility is not a good]
G.A. Cohen on his money
I give away some but not very much and the explanation is that I’m a less good person than I would be if I were as good as I could be. You know I just think that I’m not a morally exemplary person that’s all. That’s the reconciliation.
Which should take precedence, the struggle for exemplary ideas or to be a better person? I think most of the people here would side with Cohen. Curiosity about the world demands curiosity about others; curiosity about others demands curiosity about their interest in things that may not interest you. Gratifying your own desires is not the some as understanding them. The latter takes much more work; the former has little moral value. Democracy [Democratic responsibility] and individualism are opposed.