Never Again and Again
and Again and Again

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Saturday, January 09, 2010

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posted by midnight rider at permanent link#

26 Comments:

Blogger Damien said...

midnight rider,

Interesting. Why'd you decide to post this here?

Saturday, January 09, 2010 4:19:00 am  
Blogger midnight rider said...

Start at 2:25 and pay attention to the dialog.

Saturday, January 09, 2010 4:36:00 am  
Blogger Damien said...

Midnight Rider,

The Klan's view of our culture and our traditions is perverted, and I know you agree with me there, and this video clearly wasn't a propaganda piece made by the Klan. So I'm guessing that you posted this to point out the danger inherent in defending something just because its been a part of our traditional culture. Am I right?

Saturday, January 09, 2010 5:08:00 am  
Blogger midnight rider said...

Something like that.

Let me say up front that I don't believe Culturist John to be racist and would not accuse him of that.

But I've said before we need to be very careful with this term culturism. It's a dandy place for racists to hide.

When you start dealing in absolutes -- all mUslims must renounce Islam and assimilate as Judeo-Christian accolytes instead of adhering and upholding their country's laws (in our case the U.S.) while still maintaining their cultural identity without working against said country then it is no longer culturism it is blind intolerance. And where does it end then? It was okay with Islam how about Korean culture next? And then Chinese. Then Indians. Someone will always find a way or a reason to call for the expulsion of another cultural group.

Now, that does not mean we shouldn't be wary or that we should let our guard down. Hey, you want to live among us, swear and uphold an oath of allegiance to the U.S. and please understand, some of your brothers have shown a predilection to setting their shorts on fire on airplanes and the toppling of large buildings so understand and accept that you are going to come under much closer scrutiny than your German neighbor who's been here for 20 years.

But when we start looking for multi-culti boogeymen in films like Avatar or Gran Torino we're just chasing shadows and diminishing ourselves in the process. And the real threat, the real Jihadists, are laughing all the way to the cave.

The American Indian was no saint I'll grant that. But when you can't condemn how we handled them there's a problem. If you can't condemn something like Wounded Knee or Sand Creek (to name a very few) then I think you're moving beyond just culturism. We wiped out their cultures just as Jihadists want to wipe out ours and Culturism wants to wipe out anyone who calls themselves muslim.

There is good and bad in every culture. To me, culturism is too much of a broadstroke.

Saturday, January 09, 2010 6:09:00 am  
Blogger Damien said...

Midnight Rider,

Although I thought Culturist John made some good points, if noticed my comments over on his thread on Avatar I didn't entirely agree with him either. I see your as well point, and you do have one. We need to be able to condemn our own atrocities.

Saturday, January 09, 2010 6:24:00 am  
Blogger Damien said...

And to do that, we must first admit that they were atrocities.

Saturday, January 09, 2010 6:25:00 am  
Blogger Damien said...

Midnight Rider,

As for the claim that Culturism wants to wipe out anyone who calls themselves a Muslim, I think John would disagree with you there.

Saturday, January 09, 2010 6:33:00 am  
Blogger midnight rider said...

Yes but more than that we need to recognize and understand that Culturism, if left unchecked, could lead to those same types of atrocities again. Learning from history and all that.

Saturday, January 09, 2010 6:34:00 am  
Blogger midnight rider said...

"wipe out anyone who calls themselves a Muslim, I think John would disagree with you there."

Yeah, I think I phrased that badly. He wants them out of this country not necessarily dead. Not sure that phrasing is any better. . .

Saturday, January 09, 2010 6:36:00 am  
Blogger Damien said...

Midnight Rider,

I don't think that Culturist John would say that either.

I emailed him a link to your thread by the way. Maybe it would be good if he joined the conversation as well.

Saturday, January 09, 2010 6:52:00 am  
Blogger midnight rider said...

Then help me phrase it since I seem to be botching it :)

Saturday, January 09, 2010 7:10:00 am  
Blogger Pastorius said...

I don't remember Culturist John ever calling for "all Muslims out of US now" or anything of that sort.

To say that Islam, as it is currently constituted, is incompatible with American culture is not the same thing as to say that one wants all Muslims out of the United States.

Muslims get to choose what Islam is and is not.

As it is, the major Islamic academic institutions, media outlets, governments, and political organizations, all define and represent Islam as a Sharia-based religion (meaning gay, adulterers and apostates ought be stone, and women are worth half that of a man, and Infidels are to live at the feet of Muslims).

That is the fact.

Until Muslims unite in organizations, and form media outlets, governments, and academic institutions which represent and define Islam otherwise, then we are left to believe their religion is anathema to America's core values.

That does not mean that every Muslim practices his religion as a Sharia-based religion.

However, it does mean that those who do not practice their religion as a Sharia-based religion have not stood up and said enough is enough to those who do currently define and represent their religion.

Saturday, January 09, 2010 1:21:00 pm  
Anonymous revereridesagain said...

It was certainly not necessary to wipe out all Japanese culture after WWII, but State Shintoism obviously had to go. As did Nazism in Germany and Fascism in Italy. As did the southern slave culture in the US. And the cultures in pre-Colombian America that sacrificed human beings to sun worship.

Unfortunately, none of that came about through just asking politely. Islam can be de-fanged sufficiently to be practiced as a personal religion. A lot of Muslims do that now. But that will mean that all that supports the Jihad must be changed.

Culturism relies too much on custom, tradition, and other particulars and not enough on principle.

Saturday, January 09, 2010 1:31:00 pm  
Blogger Culturist John said...

MR,

Sorry I got to this post late. I didn't recognize that it had anything to do with culturism until Damien pointed it out. Thanks Damien.

MR, I appreciate your giving serious thought to the potentials and foibles of the concept of culturism. And, I will not say that some racist might not make ugly use of it. I cannot control that, but I am aware of it.

The argument I repeatedly use in the book to counter such a possibility is that culturism seeks to uphold western culture. That includes the concept of civil rights and individualism properly defined. If we, for example, said no films could be made that depicted our military in a bad way, that would immediately undermine our values, not strengthen them.

I think the standard narrative of the West includes the view that slavery was incompatible with our traditions; it violated Christian and Greek principles. Certainly you can find no justification for it in the Constitution.

The book repeatedly denounces absolutes. This is such a theme that I even insert it, where it may not even make sense. For example, in my strongest policy suggestion on Islam, the ending of Muslim immigration into western nations, I say that would only hold until Islamic terrorism stops. That is unlikely, but it showed my constant hitting on a rejection of absolutes.

Furthermore, if you read the first words of the book culturism or the definition on the website, you would see that it generically upholds nation's rights to define, protect, and guide themselves. So culturism would never dictate what Korea or China must do. While building nukes offends culturism by threatening other nation's sovereignty, culturism even upholds the right of Iran to work out its own cultural destiny.

I am not sure where you got the idea that culturism wants to "wipe out anyone who calls themselves a muslim." But internationally that would violate culturism. And, in the US that would violate our Western heritage.

As to film critiques, I do not think that the only way to stop Jihad is to constantly talk about Jihad. I think, for example, multiculturalism does great harm to us in that fight. The idea that we are to celebrate Islam and not hold that we have a core tradition to uphold is dangerous. Well, we can challenge the dominance of multiculturalism in the academic presses, we can write books about it (thank you), we can challenge its dominance in schools. Until we change our cultural precepts, though, we are in danger.

The methods listed above are fine. And, you need not only take one route. But, for getting it into discussions of popular culture, making people aware of it generally, I think discussion of popular movies is a good platform. Notice how many comments my discussion of Avatar got. If we could get people debating the political premises of Avatar across the nation, it would be a great thing.

Thanks for the thoughts!

John

Saturday, January 09, 2010 1:38:00 pm  
Blogger Epaminondas said...

There's only one response to that post:


'As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol' way
And who shall wear the starry crown?
Good Lord show me the way!'

Saturday, January 09, 2010 1:43:00 pm  
Blogger Culturist John said...

Pastorius' comment made me want to reiterate something - as if I hadn't already written more than folks wanted to read.

In the policy chapter of culturism, I call for the ending, with some exceptions such as business travel on short visas, perhaps considerations of family reunion or what have you, of muslim immigration to western nations. This is absolutely within international norms. Korea, China, and Saudi Arabia all define who can and cannot move into their nations and be citizens.

As for Muslims already here, we must be sure to protect their rights. To the extent possible, we want to uphold rights. That is our pride and cultural core. However, absolutes are not a part of the culturist metaphysics. During wartime we have always compromised such rights. If you go to a mosque that calls for terror, it is reasonable that we search you when getting on a plane.

I generically have a problem with Muslims working at airports or for the INS. I do not have a problem with them working in banks or other non-security related positions. If you are just an average muslim American, you should not be hounded. This, again, would make a mockery of our traditions.

You might say, but doesn't discrimination in jobs or watching folks who go to terror mosques violate our ABSOLUTE guarantees? We have always had a sense of cultural realism and pragmatics. That is a big part of our heritage. Remember Holmes' "clear and present danger" rule.

Saturday, January 09, 2010 1:47:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Culturist John said: If we could get people debating the political premises of Avatar across the nation, it would be a great thing.


I say: That is absolutely true.

Saturday, January 09, 2010 1:48:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Culturist John said: If you go to a mosque that calls for terror ...


I say: ALL MOSQUES WHICH CALL FOR JIHAD/SHARIA OUGHT TO BE SHUT DOWN, AND ALL MUSLIMS WHO ADVOCATE SUCH OUGHT TO BE ARRESTED AND TRIED FOR SEDITION.

There really ought not be a question about that.

THAT is not Culturist. I know you wrote the book, but that was an uncommonly loose statement for you to make.

Saturday, January 09, 2010 1:53:00 pm  
Blogger Culturist John said...

MR,

One last thought. Does multiculturalism paint with too broad of a stroke? How would you propose to address that? Remember, culturism acknowledges that we'll always have diversity in this nation. It is just a matter of emphasis. I mean, what is your alternative? What discusses policy and does not brush with a broad stroke?

RevereRidesAgain,

Do you not think that our tradition is a good thing and that it gives us guides to how to act? Would you not rely on the actions and thoughts of the Founding Fathers? I think there are principles a plenty in what they gave us.

The more immediate thing is that we must break the stranglehold of the multiculturalist point of view. I can think of no better way to do so than to introduce an opposite concept into the discourse. But, again, we should all do what we can do in our own ways.

I guess the alternative is to wait for there to be so many terror attacks that multiculturalism just implodes and people riot. But, I would rather we have a discussion about values and an idea of the ideals we wish to uphold beforehand. I would rather we steer ourselves and face our cultural problems in a thoughtful and cautious manner.

Again, culturism is better than nothing.

Saturday, January 09, 2010 1:54:00 pm  
Blogger Culturist John said...

Pastorious, which statement was loose?

And, shouldn't we trade Farmar now? We need guard with a jump shot. Is that too much to ask?

Saturday, January 09, 2010 1:56:00 pm  
Blogger Culturist John said...

Oh, I think I get it, yes, mosques that call for terror must be dealt with somehow. My point was that individual rights do not exempt you from be probable cause. Culturist profiling is often necessary. And if you go to such an establishment, you should especially be watched. I was not meaning to comment on policy towards mosques that advocate terror.

Saturday, January 09, 2010 1:59:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Culturist John said: shouldn't we trade Farmar now? We need guard with a jump shot. Is that too much to ask?


I say: I think the Lakers ought to dispense with the idea of a Point Guard altogether. The triangle does not need it. The triangle only requires that you have guys who can bring the ball up the floor and get the passing flow going. A Point Guard is a playmaker. The triangle is not a playmaking system.

I think the Lakers should start Shannon Brown in place of D-Fish and Farmar.

From there, if they feel they need to switch up on who brings the ball up the court, they can rotate between Odom, Kobe, and Shannon.

By the way, if they actually thought they needed a Point Guard, well, Lamar Odom is CLEARLY the best one they've had since Magic Johnson.

Saturday, January 09, 2010 2:43:00 pm  
Blogger Damien said...

Revere Rides Again,

You wrote,
-----------------------------------
It was certainly not necessary to wipe out all Japanese culture after WWII, but State Shintoism obviously had to go. As did Nazism in Germany and Fascism in Italy. As did the southern slave culture in the US. And the cultures in pre-Colombian America that sacrificed human beings to sun worship.

Unfortunately, none of that came about through just asking politely. Islam can be de-fanged sufficiently to be practiced as a personal religion. A lot of Muslims do that now. But that will mean that all that supports the Jihad must be changed.

Culturism relies too much on custom, tradition, and other particulars and not enough on principle.
-----------------------------------

I don't entirely agree with Culturist John's philosophy, although at times I've called myself a culturist for lack of a better word. There's nothing wrong with doing things based on principal in general. Problem is that following your principals under some circumstances maybe good, but under others it maybe bad. Take for example the Principal of honesty. Normally on principal one should be honest, but under some circumstances lying is certainly okay and even more moral than telling the truth. During WW2 the allies did all they could to deceive the Nazis and at the very least it really help to win the war and save lives. But one could on principal argue that lying was wrong even than. But you and I certainly wouldn't agree with that.

Also as for tradition and custom you can't tell me they don't have their place. For one thing, Ayn Rand who you admire. She might have been put to death or at least imprisoned had it not been for the American, and also western tradition of tolerating decent. I don't agree with everything you or Rand believed, if that were they case and I lived in a culture without the liberal traditions and customs, of free inquiry and tolerance of decent, and not to mention our the traditional American disposition agianst cruel and unusual punishment, I might support punishing people who don't share my beliefs, maybe in incredibly inhumane ways. Think about that.

Saturday, January 09, 2010 7:36:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Damien kicking ass and taking names. I agree, Damien.

I wonder what Culturist John would have to say about that.

Sunday, January 10, 2010 2:43:00 am  
Blogger Damien said...

Pastorius,

Just to make it clear, I'm not someone who believes that absolutely no moral absolutes exist, but there is a problem with saying that something has to be based on principal to be moral.

Sunday, January 10, 2010 3:17:00 am  
Blogger Damien said...

Also the idea that something is automatically more moral because its based on principal is flawed.

Sunday, January 10, 2010 3:24:00 am  

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