The Tyranny of the Individual, Part Deux.

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Several years ago I wrote an article entitled: Robespierre, Julian Assange, and the Tyranny of the Individual. This is a follow-up to that article.

It is pure irony that a grandfather, Thomas Huxley,  of the modern enlightenment’s core ideologies; Darwinism and Atheism, should write the following:

No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average Negro is the equal, still the less superior, of the white man…It is simply incredible [to think] that…he will be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried on by thoughts and not by bites.

Yet the justification for Huxley’s beliefs are the same as they are for many other men alive during his era: He was a man of his time. He simmered in the broth of his culture and therefore could not help but to take on its taste.  As far as I know Huxley’s books are still in the libraries of many major universities.

The fact is, we all have views that we believe would offend the majority of the world. I certainly do. Who among us would want our most private conversations broadcast to the world for no other reason than because someone else was angry with you? Not for matters of national security, or to bring justice in the case of criminal activities, but merely for spite.

The case of Los Angelas Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s leaked conversations with his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, in which Sterling demands that Stiviano not be seen in public with black people and that she cease publicizing photos of she and black men on Instagram. The nature of his comments predictably drew great outrage from many, and Sterling was fined $2.5 million by the NBA. He may be forced to sell his team.

V. Stiviano. Posted on her Instagram profile
V. Stiviano. Posted on her Instagram profile

But for all the outrage about NSA activities. and the dread possibilities of metadata collection, there seems to be little  concern about situations in which individuals have been materially harmed by vindictive private individuals or organizations who use political correctness to punish or even gain an advantage in law suits.

I saw little outrage when the Washington Post appealed to its readers to help the paper’s staff sort through Sarah Palin’s emails, in an attempt to dredge up some dirt. 

Nor is the much discussion that the media breaks the law by printing or displaying classified materials, but the government is too scared  to prosecute. Apparently we elected the NYT to decide what should be classified or not. It’s all for the good of the people I’m sure, nothing to do with the Left’s much maligned profit.

Brendon Eich, chief executive of Mozilla stepped down from his position after it was revealed his donated $1000 to Proposition 8, the proposal to ban gay marriage in California. The IRS “inadvertently” released a list of names of those who supported the bill with money, though the information was available publicly before that, as the LA Times created a searchable data base. If Eich is basically punished for his donation, does this mean that people who voted for Prop 8 should be targeted? It’s all for the public good when the media does this sort of stuff, and materially harms people, but when the NSA does it during the longest period of American war, it’s looking for your porn.

Then of course there was the Mel Gibson ordeal, in which his wife, Oksana Grigorieva taped Gibson during an argument in which he makes an ass of himself. Of course, millions of dollars were at stake  Having been a cop and grown up in the real world, Gibson’s statements during a domestic argument didn’t shock me all that much. I’ve seen otherwise perfectly sane men lose their minds over domestic issues. I don’t recommend it. But there is something unseemly about taping someone you’ve been close to only to release their cherry-picked statements to the mass media. It these recordings were only for self-protection, or to catch someone planning or talking about a crime, it would be understandable. But this is plain spite and evil.

The laws about private citizens recording other citizens differ from state to state. In some states, both recorded parties must be aware the taping is going on, while in others only one party need be aware. I personally think that both people should always have to know unless a disinterested judge finds a reason that there is sufficient need for a secret recording. If we worry about the government doing it, we should also worry about the potential abuse by millions of citizens.

Besides that lesson, if you’re an older man with millions of dollars, and a much younger woman who spends too much time on her looks takes a sudden interest in you, you may want to think twice.


5 thoughts on “The Tyranny of the Individual, Part Deux.

    uvalduvalcuckoo said:
    May 1, 2014 at 1:34 am

    As much as I enjoy your posts, the Atheism and Darwinism point is really off base. Two years ago, I had no opinion and very little knowledge of Darwinism. I’ve read a ton on it and honestly, whatever one’s theistic beliefs, Darwinism is simply a fact, it’s not a philosophy or ideology. I won’t dispute that Progressives love Darwinism and Atheism , but I think it’s more b/c they are such overly compelling arguments compared to the alternative . Atheism in and of itself simply means you there’s no case for any current religion or god. Sure, you have many that absolutely disavow that a God of any kind exists, but many simply find the current stories of God too hard to believe. YOu can say it’s pure irony, but the fact he believed in Darwinism and Atheism is no more relevant than the fact he believed in mathematics or heliocentrism with respect to modern Progressives. Racism has diminished and views have changed b/c people recognized it’s ‘Bad’, but it’s also in large part b/c we’re less ignorant. ONce we had blood typing, DNA and organ transplants, racist views were simply refuted by evidence. One can only speculate, but given just the 3 types of evidence I mentioned there, I have a hard time believing most of the old school enlightenment would have held the views they did (many would, but theres a lot that wouldn’t)

    As far as the rest of the post, I’mglad someone is pointing it out. We’re all different people in private, particularly in the heat of an argument, then we are in public nad thank Goodness for it, society is abrasive enough already. Sterling was the same prick a week ago as he was the day these tapes were released, and while I find his comments pathetic, what she did was equally pathetic and there’s not much outcry – b/c rich racist old guy is right in line with the outrage mob’s party line. A pox on both of their houses.

    magus71 responded:
    May 1, 2014 at 3:57 am

    But Bill, as far as Darwnism and Atheism goes, I think that the people who subscribe to those systems are free from the possibility of being “outed” and exiled from their jobs. I didn’t say anything bad about those two systems, only pointed to the irony that the grandfathers of evolutionary science–an important aspect of being part of the Left–were the most rqacist people of all. It’s the left that’s most likely to be outraged by racism. I’m not outraged because I know it exists, but blacks and hispanics are racist, too. While I lived on an Indian reservation, I was called a “honkey”, even though I have 16% American Indian heritage. Who cares? People need to toughen up and quit harping on this stuff.

    It should be no harm, no foul. People can think what they want, and say what they want as long as they don’t harm or threaten anyone.

    ajmacdonaldjr said:
    May 1, 2014 at 7:31 am

    “Sterling, a Jewish real estate owner born Donald Tokowitz, bought the Clippers in 1981. He is the longest-tenured owner in the NBA since Lakers owner Jerry Buss died last year…”

    Read more: Jewish owner of NBA team under fire over racist remarks | The Times of Israel

    goy•im (ˈgɔɪ ɪm)
    usage: This term is usually used with disparaging intent, implying a mild contempt for the attitudes, traits, and customs of non-Jews. Although it may be used in a neutral, even positive way to refer to a Christian, it almost always connotes a degree of condescension. Usually the context, such as the use of a qualifying adjective, will show the intent of the speaker.
    —n. Usually Disparaging.
    (a term used to refer to a gentile or non-Jewish person.)
    [1835–45; < Yiddish < Hebrew goi nation]

    uvalduvalcuckoo said:
    May 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    I misunderstood the point you were making with those two point – I see what you’re saying. With that in mind, yah, I have to agree.

    uvalduvalcuckoo said:
    May 1, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    @ajmacdonaldjr – Did I miss something? Where did the whole Goy angle come from?

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