Mencken was the disciple Nietzsche did not need

From Mencken's introduction to his translation of Nietzsche's The Antichrist:
In brief, what he saw in Christian ethics, under all the poetry and all the fine show of altruism and all the theoretical benefits therein, was a democratic effort to curb the egoism of the strong--a conspiracy of the _chandala_ against the free functioning of their superiors, nay, against the free progress of mankind.
The use of the term chandala which refers to a low caste Indian who was regarded as the dregs of society demonstrates Mencken's animosity perfectly.
Today's political conflicts demonstrate that it is values and not social standing that actually determines progress.
Retrograde values reside at the very top of the economic and social ladder and are freely chosen by all manner of humankind.
The higher ontological values of democracy, helpfulness, tolerance and non-idolatry reside in all individuals and dominate the passage of time whether we recognize them or not.
Those who choose these higher values are the true force of  progress.
I think Nietzsche might well have changed the views which enabled Mencken to engage in the slavish discipleship noted in the above quotation. 

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The President Should Preemptively Stop This Given Tea Party Intransigence

He should send Congress a simple sentence raising the limit and call for a vote.

Failing passage he should invoke the 14th Amendment.

Enough of hostage taking by wingnuts.

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A little thing I did on vampires thematically tuned to today's subtext

The Vampire Takeover that Failed - Associated Content from Yahoo! - associatedcontent.com: "The drill for the vampires in this story involved a need for blood well beyond the sips that come from the ordinary neck clinch of fictional vampires. You know the scene. With the alleged liberation of women, it could be a he or a she vampire."

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The communities I am proposing are actually cybercommunities

Present metrosprawl with detached dwellings will not disappear overnight, but as alternatives emerge it will be less and less attractive.
I see no way that a hurricane could harm the community I am thinking of. It would be low enough to the earth to give the wind little to bounce against. It would have the stability of a stadium. It would be self-sufficient with its own power generated on site. It would be a recycling dream.
This development means starting from scratch just as much as we started from scratch with the car. The minute computers arrived in the 1980s, they became the new automobiles. The communities I am proposing are actually cybercommunities, created because cyberspace both extends reach and obliterates distances.
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Today's economy based on separated dwellings with numerous cars per household is unsustainable

Communities of the future will need to be car-free, concentrated developments that combine most of thea attributes we look for in a city.
These communities will need to contain up to 10,000 people in order to be economically viable. Most services and commercial establishments will be within walking distance. Many public spaces will have multiple uses.
Such communities will require the creative skills of architects, designers, planners and inventors working together to ensure that they are as ecologically self-sufficient as possible.

Cars will need to be used outside the perimeter of these communities. Today's economy based on separated dwellings with numerous cars per household is unsustainable, ecologically disastrous and a threat to public health.
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20/20 hindsignt we allowed the fatal connection

We let this become a debate about the size of government
We should have said this is raising the ceiling to pay what we owe
The issues are separate
We didn't 
Now the whirlwind
Unless the whole thing collapses and they either must just vote for the raising of the ceiling
Or we go to the 14th Amendment

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The poll nobody dares to have

Do you believe the American dream is having a detached home some distance from where you work?
Would you accept less pay if hours had to be adjusted so that everyone who wants a job could have one?
Is the reason businesses won't invest is because they do not know what the future will look like?
Should the future be more sprawl, more oil. more highways, more traffic?
Does the concept of a car free environment where everything is within walking distance appeal to you?
What if we could subscribe to our living arrangement and replicate it wherever we are? 
Refine these and related questions and see what answers you get.

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Making cars more efficient is a death warrant for the American economy

The auto industry has been sustained by its seeming enemies
But their enemies have been their best friends
Nader pushing for safety
Environmentalists pushing for more miles per  gallon
Infrafolk poushing for Rachel Maddow solutions
The only thing that will work long term is moving toward car free and today's retro construction free
Mass produced  spaces (rooms, habitats) that are made for the future
Reshuffled communities and new cyber-cities that are car free

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Some notes from our troubled past

Democratic U.S. Senate Primary 1970 - Associated Content from Yahoo! - associatedcontent.com: "It's generally acknowledged that, following the National Council Triennial in December, 1969, the decline of mainline Protestantism in the United States continued apace and that attempts to renew the churches along lines Adam proposed had failed"

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Any huge cuts in programs will be up to the people in 2012

Debt-Ceiling Deal: The GOP Gets Its Way - The Daily Beast

The 2012 election and not the debt deal will determine the future
We will have a grand and glorious fight over whether to be reasonable or idiotic
Ultimately the goal posts will be moved a trifle one way or another
We will all have been royally entertained
Are you bored yet

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President Obama actually does not care about winning in 2012

The GOP would like to believe Obama cares about winning
That he is being political by advocating that his people Tweet common sense to the GOP
In point of fact the President is so Zen that he really does not care if he wins or not
He is in it for the life whatever that turns out to be
When the President uses the word politics it is a disparaging term for playing games with what is reasonable and just
If what he thinks is reasonable today proves impossible tomorrow he changes course
The GOP will yell flip flop
He will brush them from his lapel
I still think the President will win this fight
But do not underestimate his enemy
These are genuinely true believer types of the sort Eric Hoffer wrote of in his classic treatment
History will adjudge them crazy and deluded win or lose

A foofnote on J. Edgar Hoover

I have little doubt that Hoover will go down in history as a meddlesome and ethically-deprived advocate of the worst part of the spectrum that still contains our deleterious and destructive belief the Cold War. We have not gotten to the point that the Cold War itself can be seen as largely delusory, as a means of organizing a national paranoia and launching a military-industrial, big oil economy. As we now reap the whirlwind the pendulum will swing toward a more balanced and sober analysis and toward a more candid assessment of the dangers of men like Hoover in places of power.

Short Form Content at Blogger: Did J. Edgar Hoover Kill Hemingway?: "Did J. Edgar Hoover Kill Hemingway?"

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Where Nietzsche and Mencken are both wrong

Mencken from his introduction to Nietzche's The Antichrist.
The fact is that Nietzsche had no interest whatever in the delusions of the plain people--that is, intrinsically. It seemed to him of small moment _what_ they believed, so long as it was safely imbecile. What he stood against was not their beliefs, but the elevation of those beliefs, by any sort of democratic process, to the dignity of a state philosophy--what he feared most was the pollution and crippling of the superior minority by intellectual disease from below.
This a bald statement of Menckens's low regard for the mass of people. 
Why is it wrong. Why was Nietzsche wrong insofar as he embraced the same view.
For the same reason that racism is wrong.
The ascription of special and elevated qualities according to class and wealth and occupancy of this or that elite is a profound and sad philosophical error.
Our current Tea Party fracas is a case in point.
Democracy is the value which cuts through this crap.
It is why we have the positive moments like Tahrir 
Like the civil right movement of the 1960s
There is no class or elite or race that encompasses either saintly or despicable values
The ontological value of democracy can be willed by anyone and when it is willed it is not submersion in a hateful mass that it seeks
It is the same rights for all

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How could Nietzsche the scourge of democracy become its advocate?

Mencken in his introduction to his translation of The Antichrist, says of Nietzsche:

He was plainly a foe of democracy in all its forms, political, religious and epistemological, and what is worse, his opposition was set forth in terms that were not only extraordinarily penetrating and devastating, but also uncommonly offensive.

There are two democracies. There is the mass, herd, common denominator image of a Kafkaesque aggregation of reified souls lost in anomie.

And there is the highly individualistic notion of democracy as a value lodged in the soul of all persons waiting to be ignted by deeds that affirm the universal value of each living being and the universal rights of all. This is a democracy that Nietzsche was not at pains to affirm.

Short Form Content at Blogger: Ontological values are values which, when willed, work to create progress.: "Ontological values are values which, when willed, work to create progress."

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Sunday morning and the GOP still leaves us in limbo

To the note below I wish to add the following.

If the President must speak to the nation and suggest a course, having met with a failure of Congress to overcome the petulant and unpatriotic actions of the House Republicans, he can wave the one page bill that simply raises the limit and play clips of all leaders saying they intend to raise the limit, and state as Commander in Chief that this is an immediate matter of national security. Pass the sucker now.

If they fail we have a list of traitorous Republicans for 2012 and we have the 14th Amendment. And we have a President vindicated in demanding that people elect legislators who will redeem the center and eschew the extremes.

Short Form Content at Blogger: The Tea Party in Congress is a Subversive force and Dangerous to All Americans: "The Tea Party in Congress is a Subversive force and Dangerous to All Americans"

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Ontological values are values which, when willed, work to create progress.

The values Nietzsche might have arrived at, had he been able to complete his project of revaluing values, include democracy, tolerance and helpfulness. Non-idolatry is the root value which we can relate to Nietzsche's perspectivism. Most of the "values" Nietzsche actually espoused were virtues which, by definition, have no meaning unless they are linked to active values. (A killer can have courage.) This is the trap into which Aristotle also falls (Falstaff liberated him). It is the reason, in part, why the inherited global value system is woefully inadequate, both theoretically, and practically. Exist whether we will them or not. Ontological values are values which, when willed, work to create progress. They are core values.

Short Form Content at Blogger: Three Ontological Values Which Act To Enable Redress of Grievances: "Three Ontological Values Which Act To Enable Redress of Grievances"

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That task of revaluation is ours. It is the work of this century. It is life and death work.

Short Form Content at Blogger: I believe that if Nietzsche had been able to complete his life work he would have agreed.

In his introduction to The Antichrist, H. L. Mencken (the translator) quotes Nietzsche:

"In me the Christianity of my forbears reaches its logical conclusion. In me the stern intellectual conscience that Christianity fosters and makes paramount turns _against_ Christianity. In me Christianity ... devours itself."

Ultimately Nietzsche liberates Christianity from creed and establishes it as a way of life which he claims had only one follower, Jesus.

What Nietzsche does not do is articulate the values of this way. Nietzsche skewers the existing values of Christianity (which he relates to resentment, weakness and a sheeplike mentality). But Nietzsche does not wrestle  what values Jesus would put in their place.  That task is ours. It is the work of this century. It is community work. It is a matter of life and death for the world.

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