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09/11/2001 WE REMEMBER
Moderated by: Arch, Famov

"Fear is the foundation of most governments." - John Adams

"Despite the constant negative press covfefe" - Donald Trump


What do you think of this quote?

The most dangerous sentence in any language is: "We've always done things this way." The most mature thing we can do is admit that a brilliant plan from the past is no longer a great idea because things have changed. What was true ten years ago, last year, or even yesterday, may not be true today. Everything is subject to time, place, and circumstance, so always reevaluate.


I don't entirely agree with this quote(particularly the "most mature thing" line), but I'm sure there's come a point in everyone's time where you've questioned things and wonder why the hell we still do it? This especially applies to religion and even parts of the Constitution which people defend without question(and usually for their agendas of course).

So do you consider yourself a traditionalist who likes to keep things the way they are, or do you like to change things because it no longer feels relevant or makes sense now vs 20 years ago(due to social change, etc)?



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There are 28 Replies

I've been pretty fortunate to be able to live in a variety of different places, and have a pretty well-rounded and quality education, so yes, I agree with that quote a lot. Re-evaluation and reconsideration of truth is very important.

But there is something to be said about everybody in a society having unified beliefs. In China they have Mao, and magnanimously downplay his megalomania and horrible communist policies, while in America we have the Founding Fathers whose slavery we excuse because it was so long ago.

Posted October 10th by Agis
Agis
 

This is a complicated question (but a good question).

On the one hand, of course everything should be questioned. Carrying on certain practices or policies only out of tradition is fundamentally flawed, because as you say - certain practices and policies were designed for a particular time and its particular circumstances, which may no longer apply.

On the other hand, these things have generally lasted for a long time for a good reason. And I think we grossly underestimate the wisdom of our ancestors - they may not have had the scientific and technical knowledge that we have now, but there is no reason to think they weren't just as culturally and philosophically sophisticated as we are (if not more so).

For that reason, I think tradition should be approached with caution. Instead of ripping it up under the assumption that "we know better", we ought to ask what led to the creation and maintenance of that tradition over time, and if we can not understand why, to seek to understand why.

I also agree with Agis that certain traditions have a unifying power, irrespective of their validity, and ought to be maintained for that reason alone.

Posted October 10th by Smiling Apple
Smiling Apple

I too have been college educated and have lived in a variety of places and done a lot of world traveling but I am not so arrogant to assume this makes me an authority on a claim that isn't even related to that....not sure what Agis was trying to suggest.

I would absolutely consider myself a traditionalist. I think people were a lot more happier and fulfilled with the traditional family unit than the modern degeneracy and so called "liberation" and third wave feminism have brought out.

As far as the quote goes, I disagree. Sounds like gymnastics to call something good that has always been bad.

while in America we have the Founding Fathers whose slavery we excuse because it was so long ago.

America bears no responsibility for slavery because it was not America that brought the slaves here. That was the British Crown. (Slaves existed on the American continent in other forms, but this isn't talked about because it doesn't fall in line with "the white man" bashing narrative). In terms of countries around the world "doing away" with slavery - America ranks in about the middle.

Posted October 10th by #85
#85

America bears no responsibility for slavery because it was not America that brought the slaves here.

But it continued the practice long after several of the major powers got rid of it.

Even Mexico abolished slavery 20-35years before the U.S. did (iirc)

I agree with the quote to an extent. I am always open to new ideas and to doing things differently.

Posted October 10th by S.O.H.
S.O.H.
 

I too have been college educated and have lived in a variety of places and done a lot of world traveling but I am not so arrogant to assume this makes me an authority on a claim that isn't even related to that

There's definitely something about this that makes me feel like my first reply really touched off some insecurity.

A few things about the rest of your reply that really calls into question your supposed college education: The "traditional family unit" is a modern construct, and whatever "degeneracy" you're talking about is probably common to many other cultures that are arguably closer to traditional human life -- that's something I learned from college and living outside of midwest America.

And about slavery, well that's pretty wrong, but more importantly a misconstruction of why I bring up the Founding Fathers. They weren't perfect, and some of their ideas weren't great either (non-universal suffrage, articles of confederation), but we revere them all the same and find it taboo to call them out.

Posted October 10th by Agis
Agis
 

The wisdom of our forefathers is incredibly important. However, cultural practices that we don't understand no longer are valuable. For example, if you don't know why we put presents under a tree every December, the practice probably should end. If you understand it was meant to remind us of the benefits of deferred gratification by investing in others, well, then you should continue to keep that idea alive. But most of our practices we no longer understand, and to understand them again, we need to do away with them so we re-invent the need for them, thus we'll be able to appreciate them again.

That said, there's alot to be said about going against tradition, just for the sake of not being old fashioned. Many atheist (especially conservative ones) philosophers are beginning to doubt that abandoning religion was actually a good thing, since we, frankly, merely tried to make the world better by getting rid of the concept of God, but never kept any of the benefits of religion (so now we have people trying to form secular ethics, like Stefan Molyneux's "Universally Preferable Behavior"). In turn, science seems to be reinventing God (programmer theory) and religion/occultism (multiverse and all the occult things that come with it), yet no rules, so now we're basically ending up with religion again, but with none of the benefits of it.

As for slavery and the founding fathers, we do revere them, but it's hardly taboo to mention they had slaves. What seems to be taboo is talking about the actual conditions and make-up of slave populations, especially those owned by the founding fathers. Uncle Tom was anti-slave propoganda (for better or worse), so it naturally projected an amalgamation of the worst slave handling practices in America. This is not to justify slavery, but we fail to understand that slavery has always had a purpose throughout history, and that purpose is rearing it's ugly head again: slavery was originally a solution for solving debt, as labor has value. You will see this iterated throughout ancient texts, such as the bible.

Which brings up another point. People seem to have this warped perception that slavery was an exclusively white on black issue. Truth was, black slaves were incredibly expensive to acquire, so most slaves were Irish (thanks to the potato famine). Due to the genetic quality of black people (they're generally more physically capable, hence why women who supposedly "aren't racist" seek them for a particular organ size), there were often forced or incentivized cross-breeding (which was later condemned, which is when marriage became a legal concept [interracial marriage would not be ordained by government and result in tax breaks], paving the way for the gay marriage issue we faced recently). Libya, today, openly holds legal slave markets. While slavery still occurs in america and other countries (mostly, prostitution, and of Hispanics, which is why i say it's racist not to build the damn wall to prevent their exploitation), it is illegal.

EDIT: I forgot to mention the benefit of slavery (although i wouldn't dare suggest it is a better solution). When people acquire debts, especially legally, many times payment cannot be acquired, even with sheriff sales. If someone on welfare or otherwise poor commits a crime (such as driving without insurance, then wrecking), it becomes someones net loss. Either some middle-class person, or the insurance company, who in turn will raise the rates to compensate (effectively making it harder for poor people to follow the law, and middle-class people still end up paying for it).

Edited October 11th by Kohlrak
Kohlrak
 

85,

How can you say that America bears no responsibility for slavery?

-The practice was continued for hundreds of years after colonization began.

-Slave labor had a great deal to do with the formation of this country. Agrarian economies heavily depended on this labor. It comes as no surprise why certain states fought tooth and nail to maintain it. It is a fact that without slaves, this country's growth would not have been as expedient.

-Slaves weren't treated as citizens having absolute rights, but the south still schemed to count them as part of the population to have more representation in government.

-Why the hell would anyone else try to sit here and justify slavery with "Oh, well they were doing it too!" or "we didn't have as many as they did"! with any degree of seriousness?

The emancipation of slaves was not something that came about cooperatively between all necessary parties. Considering this, and the fact that many of the founding fathers had slaves, I'm reluctant to idolize these figures.

I've been reading early American literature this semester. It's certainly changed some of my views about the early history of this country. And one thing that's been very apparent to me in these writings are the instances of cognitive dissonance. I can respect their visions to form a free country that wasn't under the influence of foreign European powers. But it reeks of hypocrisy when these same people held slaves. How does that allow them to define America as free.


Edited October 11th by Blazer72
Blazer72
 

A republic style of government isn't 100% free, either, but you have to appreciate milestones.

Posted October 11th by Kohlrak
Kohlrak
 

Kholrak,

I'm not so much addressing absolute freedom, but it should be understood that slavery isn't right in any circumstances.

Posted October 11th by Blazer72
Blazer72
 

Over the years i've questioned it, given not all forms are the same. In an ideal society, no, but the more and more I look at the foundations of slavery, the more i realize that people know very little about it and about the benefits. I wouldn't go as far as to say it's ideal, but the more socialist a government gets, the more it becomes necessary. It is the only thing that can offset the cost of socialism, and a currency based system is necessary for the health of the planet, so it's becoming more and more apparent that slavery will rear it's ugly head again. I would rather avoid it, but it may just be the greater of other potential evils.

However, at this current time, your average white person is incapable of discussing the issue in any rational manner.

Posted October 11th by Kohlrak
Kohlrak
 

In this sense, no, I am not a traditionalist. I always evaluate and re-evaluate the way things are done, and I am the first to call BS whenever anyone uses "we've always done it this way" as an excuse to continue stoning someone in the village every fall for a good harvest.

However, I also see how some people are SO eager to ditch traditions that they will jump on fad diets and abandon all sense just to try something new, even if the new thing they're trying is absurd and ridiculous at best. Some techniques from the old masters don't suddenly become less important just because they're old.

What's right is right, always. Sometimes that means digging deep to something someone said thousands of years ago that still rings true. Most of the times, though, it means re-evaluating what we do now and try to find a better solution.

Posted October 11th by mariomguy
mariomguy
What up, 1-up

In this sense, no, I am not a traditionalist. I always evaluate and re-evaluate the way things are done, and I am the first to call BS whenever anyone uses "we've always done it this way" as an excuse to continue stoning someone in the village every fall for a good harvest.


I think it's the innate human fear of giving up on the knowledge of the ancients. From a natural selection perspective, the old way is why you survived.

However, I also see how some people are SO eager to ditch traditions that they will jump on fad diets and abandon all sense just to try something new, even if the new thing they're trying is absurd and ridiculous at best. Some techniques from the old masters don't suddenly become less important just because they're old.


This is my fear with this new-age occult religion of multi-verse that is so popular it's being taught as scientific fact. Similarly, alot of atheists (including those who believe in multi-verse) are starting to argue that getting rid of religion in favor of secularism has resulted in the very modern issues that we face today, while getting rid of religion has only shifted the power from church to government, which really hasn't had many benefits, if any.

What's right is right, always. Sometimes that means digging deep to something someone said thousands of years ago that still rings true. Most of the times, though, it means re-evaluating what we do now and try to find a better solution.


The interesting thing i've noticed when looking through the bible (it's a history book in addition to philosophy and religion), and something we see throughout history is that the practices of the ancients often get rediscovered and reintroduced, only for us to fail to maintain them and for them to go missing again, only to be rediscovered. It's sad, really, as history keeps repeating itself, only the population is larger, and the weapons are more dangerous, yet we really never improved when it comes to dealing with the human threat.

I think this is the issue that we face today: we got rid of all natural threats aside from disease, so now it's so much more important that we see each other as threats, otherwise we don't have much to do. If we see disease as the larger threat, it gets overthrown the minute you realize that disease threats can be created by humans. So the most dangerous predator to humans is humans, which i think leads to the social cohesion issues being stronger now than before when we lost the same cultural standards.

Posted October 11th by Kohlrak
Kohlrak
 

The most dangerous sentence in any language is: "We've always done things this way."

And the most terrifying words are "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

Traditions do not justify themselves, but if we are indeed still living atop a summit of human accomplishment it is worth trying to understand how we got there and to not wantonly discard the structures that may yet prove integral to maintaining this order. With respect to the foundations of representative government, individual liberty, pluralism and so on I am absolutely inclined towards reverence (and caution). With respect to the family and the way men and women interact with one another and with their children I regard the current crop of pop-sci pseudo marxist social theories with contempt. The current political climate, aided by the internet, has given a mainstream platforms to various collections of very bad ideas. Identity politics in all its forms is a particularly ugly thing whether it looks like white nationalism or intersectional feminism, and is engineered so as to create group interests where there would otherwise be none. Those that would subvert the individual in this manner are themselves appealing to far older, tribal, and traditional ways of thinking. Rejecting this in favor of the Age of Reason is the most progressive thing one can do in this context, even if it involves invoking the very sort of ideas codified in early American legal documents.

Posted October 12th by Famov
Famov

I never understood that quote. When shit hits the fan we turn to our government for help. But when things are fine it's a big no no for them to intervene. Why?

Also didn't the government grow more under Regan than when his predecessor was in power?

Edited October 12th by S.o.h.
S.o.h.
 

Traditions do not justify themselves, but if we are indeed still living atop a summit of human accomplishment it is worth trying to understand how we got there and to not wantonly discard the structures that may yet prove integral to maintaining this order. With respect to the foundations of representative government, individual liberty, pluralism and so on I am absolutely inclined towards reverence (and caution). With respect to the family and the way men and women interact with one another and with their children I regard the current crop of pop-sci pseudo marxist social theories with contempt. The current political climate, aided by the internet, has given a mainstream platforms to various collections of very bad ideas. Identity politics in all its forms is a particularly ugly thing whether it looks like white nationalism or intersectional feminism, and is engineered so as to create group interests where there would otherwise be none. Those that would subvert the individual in this manner are themselves appealing to far older, tribal, and traditional ways of thinking. Rejecting this in favor of the Age of Reason is the most progressive thing one can do in this context, even if it involves invoking the very sort of ideas codified in early American legal documents.


I've noticed traditions are usually to help you remember why we do things we do and to help us remember our past. However, those simplifications don't seem to last as long as the tradition makers hope. The real irony is that the most progressive thing we can do today is not be progressive.

I never understood that quote. When shit hits the fan we turn to our government for help. But when things are fine it's a big no no for them to intervene. Why?

Also didn't the government grow more under Regan than when his predecessor was in power?


Because that's the very point of government: to take care of the citizens where they can't take care of themselves, which usually means external threats. Government is generally incompetent, but there are things we need government for, regardless of that, so an incompetent solution is usually better than no solution.

Posted October 12th by Kohlrak
Kohlrak
 

seems stupid imo. There are times when government intervention could have prevented crises and disaster.



Posted October 12th by s.o.h.
s.o.h.
 

Vs how often government has created crises and disasters when they otherwise would not have happened. Thanks to the Obama administration, for example, slave markets opened up in Libya.

Posted October 12th by Kohlrak
Kohlrak
 

Pointless ritual is bad. Traditionalism that serves practical purposes should be kept. I tend to lean traditional but am still open to useful new ideas. For me, it's whichever one has the most pragmatic value.

Posted October 12th by Xhin
Xhin
 

Vs how often government has created crises and disasters when they otherwise would not have happened. Thanks to the Obama administration, for example, slave markets opened up in Libya.


Id argue the government has done more good than bad. And I say that as some one who is critical of the U.S. government.



Posted October 12th by S.O.H.
S.O.H.
 

It has done more good than bad, but that's mostly because the basis of the US government throughout history was keeping it's nose out of things that wasn't it's business. Although people dispute that, the US' foreign war policy has been, until most recent history, in favor of the US. Even Korea was about US interests. But we've mostly kept out nose out. Most of teh "good" also came from citizens making donations and such to aide people around the world, but the US government likes to take credit for it.

Posted October 12th by Kohlrak
Kohlrak
 

"the more and more I look at the foundations of slavery, the more i realize that people know very little about it and about the benefits."

uhhh, would you mind explaining those benefits?

Posted October 12th by poptart!
poptart!
 

free labor!

Posted October 12th by EN
EN

free labor!


Turns out it is more costly, which is why the north got rid of it so quickly. Don't think there aren't farms up here?

uhhh, would you mind explaining those benefits?


Namely, no need for welfare. One of the original reasons for slavery was to pay off debts. People would borrow money for food, be unable to pay it back, and go into slavery, where they would work since their own farm wasn't doing well, meanwhile they and their family (whom often wasn't enslaved) would be fed, and said person would have a job. Usually when a certain time period was up (7 years if you were a jew slaved to another jew) or if you managed to earn your debt away, you were then released.

Slaves owned by whites were judged by these kinds of rules for the longest time, until the Casor law suit, where Anthony Johnson (a black man) came to "own" John Casor (another black man) for the rest of Casor's life.

Now we have a weirder system: now we have a system where people who can work (old slavery systems usually had some way of working with people who had disabilities) do not, and people who do work are forced to give these people resources, and the ratio slowly creeps towards being unsustainable. This either will inevitably lead to slavery of the masses (as in Soviet Russia, DPRK, or Mao's China), or "cutting the cord" and allowing mass starvation. Eventually, the resources will run out. Most likely it'll be the former rather than the latter, if history tells us anything.

Don't get me wrong, as I don't believe slavery is the answer. Rather, if foreseen (which it clearly is), efforts can be made to reverse the process. However, these efforts are not politically viable, which is the unfortunate problem. We need to recognize the system and speak about it openly, without bringing slurs and race and everything unrelated into the discussion. Unfortunately, while having an open discussion doesn't hurt a political position, it does take away advantages, since they know the other side is itching to make it a forefront issue.

Posted October 12th by Kohlrak
Kohlrak
 

"This either will inevitably lead to slavery of the masses (as in Soviet Russia, DPRK, or Mao's China), or 'cutting the cord' and allowing mass starvation."

do you have any evidence that a safety net inevitably leads to this?

Posted October 12th by poptart!
poptart!
 

The mentioned examples. As these safety nets get more costly, they become more unsustainable. Once the tipping point has been reached that the costs exceed the intake, it will fall. Like an animal falling, the question is whether or not it'll just fall or if it'll try to grab something and potentially take something with it. Unlike the animal, these safety nets don't have anything solid enough that won't go with it. Unless you know of some magical fountain of resources that Venezuela hasn't figured out right now.

Posted October 12th by Kohlrak
Kohlrak
 

"Soviet Russia, DPRK, or Mao's China"

sorry, i thought you were using these as examples of slavery of the masses, not safety nets leading to slavery or mass starvation.

anyway, saying that safety nets caused the problems in the USSR, mao's china or north korea isn't convincing to me; that's a major oversimplification.

venezuela is probably your strongest example, but at the same time, i can point to countries with safety nets that are doing just fine - look at scandinavia

Posted October 12th by poptart!
poptart!
 

(sorry if it seems like i'm jumping down your throat in every thread, by the way, i'm just excited to actually have someone new to talk to on here)

Posted October 12th by poptart!
poptart!
 

sorry, i thought you were using these as examples of slavery of the masses, not safety nets leading to slavery or mass starvation.

anyway, saying that safety nets caused the problems in the USSR, mao's china or north korea isn't convincing to me; that's a major oversimplification.


They had other things exacerbating the issues, but i would argue these issues only happened because they were major players, while venezuela, nothing personal against them, is not a big player.

venezuela is probably your strongest example, but at the same time, i can point to countries with safety nets that are doing just fine - look at scandinavia


It starts off fine. But, to look at america, since it's usually the main topic, I can tell you from personal experience that it takes very little to turn "safety net" into "alternative occupation." My own mother was one of these people, and the government actually punished me for trying to leave the safety net and get a job.

(sorry if it seems like i'm jumping down your throat in every thread, by the way, i'm just excited to actually have someone new to talk to on here)


I aim to please.

Posted October 12th by Kohlrak
Kohlrak
 
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