Category Archives: Free Will Vs. Determinism

The-Camel-Ate-My Homework Theory Of Culpability

Britain, Crime, Europe, Foreign Policy, Free Will Vs. Determinism, Islam, Jihad, Judaism & Jews, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Media

“The-Camel-Ate-My Homework Theory Of Culpability” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

… Disaffected, disadvantaged, disenfranchised is how progressives prefer to depict the Muslim murderers in their midst. After all, progressives hail from the school of therapeutic “thought” that considers crime to have been caused, not committed. Misbehavior is either medicalized and outsourced to state-approved experts, or reduced to the fault of the amorphous thing called society.

The most famous advocate of the-Camel-Ate-My Homework theory of criminal culpability is Barack Obama. Obama’s flabby assumption has it that the poor barbarians of France’s burbs have been deprived of fraternité. “Europe needs to better integrate its Muslim communities,” lectured the president.

Also guilty of a social determinism that flouts their philosophy of individual freedom are libertarians. For the sins of man, hard leftists blame society and libertarian saddle the state: U.S. foreign policy, in particular. A war of aggression, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and torture are thus “principal catalysts for this kind of non-state terrorism,” argued Ray McGovern.

“The-state-made-me-do-it” argumentation apes that of the left’s “society-made-me-do-it” argumentation. Both philosophical factions, left and blowback-libertarian, are social determinists, in as much as they implicate forces outside the individual for individual dysfunction.

Myself, I despise U.S. foreign policy as deeply as any Muslim. But it would never-ever occur to me to take it out on my American countrymen.

In the context of free will, and in a week in which we remember the Holocaust, Viktor E. Frankl rates a mention.

Dr. Frankl came out of Auschwitz to found the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy. The philosopher and distinguished psychiatrist said this of his experience in the industrial killing complex of Auschwitz-Birkenau: “In the camps one lost everything, except the last of the human freedoms, to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

To plagiarize another Jews (myself): “You can see why liberals have always preferred Freud to Frankl [my family included]. They retain a totemic attachment to the Freudian fiction that traumatic toilet training is destiny.”

Dr. Frankl lost his beloved young wife in Auschwitz, yet told poignantly of finding her, if figuratively, in a tiny bird that flitted close by. If this man was able to discovered the reality of free will and human agency in a laboratory like Auschwitz; so too can Muslims find the will to respond adaptively to events that enrage them and are indeed unjust: Western foreign policy.

The idea that the Brothers Kouachi and thousands of their coreligionists in the West who’ve joined ISIS were driven by “disaffection” to do their diabolic deeds conjures a skit from the “Life of Brian,” John Cleese’s parody of Judea under Rome. …

The complete column is “The-Camel-Ate-My Homework Theory Of Culpability.” Read the rest on WND.


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Finding Free Will And Agency In … Auschwitz

Anti-Semitism, Free Will Vs. Determinism, Judaism & Jews, Left-Liberalism, Psychiatry

International Holocaust Remembrance Day fell on Tuesday, yesterday, “marking the passage of 70 years since the January 27, 1945, liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet soldiers.”

After conversing with a singularly self-centered, narcissistic Jew, I thought of another, very different and magnificent man, who survived the Auschwitz-Birkenau “extermination camps where an estimated 1.1 million people—mostly Jews from across Europe, but also political opponents, prisoners of war, homosexuals, and Roma—were killed in gas chambers or by systematic starvation, forced labor, disease, or medical experiments.” (The Atlantic.)

Viktor E. Frankl came out of Auschwitz to found the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy. The philosopher and distinguished psychiatrist said this of his experience in Auschwitz: “In the camps one lost everything, except the last of the human freedoms, to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

To plagiarize myself, “You can see why liberals have always preferred Freud to Frankl [my family included, whether they know it or not]. They retain a totemic attachment to the Freudian idea that traumatic toilet training is destiny.”

Dr. Frankl, who lost his wife in Auschwitz, but told so poignantly of finding her again in a little chirping bird that followed him—found free will and agency in … Auschwitz too.


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UPDATED: Cameron On Criminal Culpability (Vs. Obama)

Britain, Crime, Free Will Vs. Determinism, libertarianism, Multiculturalism, Pop-Psychology, Psychiatry, Reason

Disaffected, disadvantaged, disenfranchised: This is how progressives have been depicting the Muslim murderers in their midst. Progressives, after all, come from the school of “thought” whereby crime is caused, not committed. Misbehavior is either medicalized or reduced to the fault of the amorphous thing called society.

According to this pervasive, widely accepted, therapeutic worldview—rapidly colonizing conservative thought, too—the poor barbarians of France’s burbs were driven to do their diabolic deeds.

Feelings are what count in the progressive perspective, for progressivism does not follow logic or a systematic thought process, as Jim Ostrowski points out in his book on the topic.

Likewise do libertarians, for their part, reduce immoral conduct to the fault of the state. Thus the state is said to have driven the barbarians of the burbs into a death cult that counsels killing.

Under the heading “AGAINST DOG-ATE-MY-HOMEWORK ARGUMENTATION, the column “Apartheid South Africa: Reality Vs. Libertarian Fantasy” exposes this libertarian logical contradiction—for if one holds that human beings have free will, thinking of human beings as determined entirely by forces beyond their control doesn’t fit.

From “AGAINST DOG-ATE-MY-HOMEWORK ARGUMENTATION:

For the sins of man, hard leftists blame society, and the lite libertarian saddles the state. In its social determinism, the lite libertarian’s “the-state-made-me-do-it” argumentation apes that of the left’s “society-made-me-do-it” argumentation. Both philosophical factions implicate forces outside the individual for individual- and aggregate group dysfunction.

In other words, Muslims have the capacity and freedom of conscience and will to decide how to respond to events that enrage and are indeed unjust: US foreign policy.

That’s my own political philosophy.

It’s therefore encouraging to see that British Prime Minister David Cameron does not give credit to the-state-made-me-do-it argumentation about the Islam-inspired killing of innocent Europeans. Flanking progressive Barack Obama—who does saddle society with blame for the erupting burbs of France, and contra Ray McGovern—Camerson said:

You can have, tragically, people who have had all the advantages of integration, who’ve had all the economic opportunities that our countries can offer, who still get seduced by this poisonous, radical, death cult of a narrative.”

UPDATE: “Obama: Europe needs to better integrate Muslim communities…”

Obama the progressive feels (for he does not think) that Islam-inspired crime is the fault of the French. They did not dish out sufficient freebies and fraternité.

“Our biggest advantage … is that our Muslim populations feel themselves to be Americans and there is this incredible process of immigration and assimilation that is part of our tradition,” he said.

“There are parts of Europe in which that’s not the case… it’s important for Europe not to simply respond with a hammer and law enforcement and military approaches to these problems.”

MORE moron.


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The Pornography of Public Grief

Crime, Ethics, Etiquette, Free Will Vs. Determinism, Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Left-Liberalism, Media, Pseudoscience, Psychiatry, Reason

The following is from “The Pornography of Public Grief,” the current column, now on WND.COM:

“A headline on the Huffington Post blared: ‘Comfort Dogs Sent To Newtown From Chicago Area To Help Community After Sandy Hook Shooting.’ CNN’s top dog Anderson Cooper followed—or led the pack; who cares?—with a similar segment about insourcing dogs to comfort the afflicted community of Newtown, Conn.

One day after the massacre of 20 children and seven adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, ‘a group of golden retrievers from the Chicago area made a cross-country journey to … Newtown.’

Woof, woof, or barf, barf?

Are there no companion dogs in Newtown, Conn.? Must expert dogs be brought in to properly minister to the mourners? Apparently so. Even the neighborhood dog is now unqualified for the big time.

The pornography of public grief in our country is almost as warped as the evil (not ill), mother-slaying, mass murderer responsible for the Sandy Hook carnage. There is very little dignity in the freaky spectacle of mass contagion—where members of the public turn professional mourners, flock to memorial happenings for victims they never knew, and mill about for hours in the hope of being discovered by the master of ceremonies, the journalist.

These ritualistic displays are symptomatic of our festering cultural commons.

At the center of this festering culture that turns victims into a backdrop and prop to the state’s army of experts is the journalist. …”

Read the complete column, “The Pornography of Public Grief,” now on WND.COM.

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UPDATE II: National Review Eunuchs (‘Why Come You Don’t Have a Tattoo?”)

Classical Liberalism, Conservatism, Free Speech, Free Will Vs. Determinism, Intellectualism, Journalism, Media, Race, Reason

The following is from “National Review Eunuchs,” my latest column:

In an interview with Brian Sack on GBTV, columnist and author John Derbyshire inadvertently anticipated his future in commenting about the dismissal from mainstream of another iconoclast, Patrick J. Buchanan:

“MSNBC is a private company. They can hire and fire who they like. But Buchanan is a serious guy who talks in a serious way about serious issues. Yet he is out of the national conversation. That’s bad.”

Not long after, Derbyshire was dismissed from National Review, where he freelanced. The “girlie boys” of NR had taken offense to “The Talk: Nonblack Version,” a column Derbyshire published at Taki’s Magazine. …

… National Review used to be conservatism’s flagship publication. These days its ideology reflects “Modern Republicanism’s” “dime store New Deal” proclivities (Barry Goldwater’s characterization). Launching oxymoronic attacks on Obamacare for “endangering Medicare”: that’s the extent of NR’s fight to free minds and markets.

… Tons of pixels have since been spilt in response to Derbyshire’s article and subsequent dismissal. The dimwitted discourse reflects a polemical landscape from which the Derbs of this world have been uprooted. None of John’s critics can write or reason as he does. None has his “range of historical and literary allusion,” as Mark Steyn observed. John Derbyshire’s is pellucid prose at its best.

A staff writer at The Atlantic epitomizes this fluffy, unfocused, Meghan McCain-like waffle (punctuated with a lot of, “I feel”) that lands you a job at a top publication. “As someone who places a high value on both robust public discourse and the fact that racism is now taboo,” he whimpered, “I won’t even try to mediate between these two except to say that Derbyshire’s piece was wrongheaded.”

That’s it? A feeble, frightened assertion is a substitute for an argument?

Such cyber-ejaculate gushed from other similar androgynous androids, possessors of the Y chromosome. The volume of bad writers safely ensconced in high places, and their voluminous, vapid output strengthened this conviction:

More so than enforcing conformity—ousting John was about safeguarding the future of mediocrity. …

… Cognitive consonance is what writing in the Age of the idiot is all about.

The key to success in the scribbling profession is to strike the right balance of mediocrity in writing and thinking, which invariably entails echoing one of two party lines, poorly.

Conservatism once had the genius of James Burnham, Russell Kirk, Frank Chodorov, and Felix Morley; now the brand boasts S. E. Cupp, Kathryn Jean Lopez, Rich Lowry, and their editorial enablers. (Perhaps NR will recruit Jedediah [sic] Bila in place of Derb?) …

Read the complete column, “National Review Eunuchs.”

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UPDATE I: “Why Come You Don’t Have a Tattoo?”

About “those androgynous androids, possessors of the Y chromosome,” mentioned in the column on John Derbyshire’s firing. Here is a typical example. His name is Alexander Nazaryan. he writes for the New York Daily News:

“Please, Lord, tell me that this is a joke. Please, please tell me that a human being did not actually think these things and, worse yet, think to write them down.”

Reading Meghan McCain has just about inoculated me to the above form of writing (for it is not a style in any recognizable way).

It conjures the scene in Mike Judge’s genius of a satire “Idiocracy.” To be precise, the dialogue Joe Bauer, the protagonist, conducted with the “‘tarded” doctor character, who discovers Bauer doesn’t have the identifying, state tattoo (listen to it HERE):

Doctor: “And if you could just go ahead and, like, put your tattoo in that shit.”
Joe: “That’s weird. This thing has the same misprint as that magazine. What are the odds of–”
Doctor: “Where’s your tattoo? Tattoo? Why don’t you have this?”
Joe: “Oh, god!”
Doctor: “Where’s your tattoo?”
Joe: “Oh, my god.”
Doctor: “Why come you don’t have a tattoo?”

Doctor: “Why come you don’t have a tattoo?”

[SNIP]

You want to slap this Nazaryan man in the face. “Settle down. Stop it man. Quit the hysterical hyperbole. Stop the overwrought outrage. Calm down and write a simple sentence countering the Derb column.”

UPDATE II: To the ladies, Jeniffer and Scherie: Saddling the state solely for the dysfunction of a segment of the population is a form of determinism. According to this formula, free will and individual agency get short shrift. For the sins of man, hard leftists blame society, and hard-core libertarians, who are also determinist, saddle the state. “The State made me do it” is how such social determinism can be summed-up.

By the way, according to Charles Murray’s Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, white, middle America is in big trouble too. It isn’t as criminal as black America, but it is shot through with illegitimacy, laziness, unemployment, family and marital disintegration, etc.


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UPDATE VI: Ron Paul: Stand Tall For Middle America (Rape in Norway An Imported Affair)

Drug War, Free Will Vs. Determinism, Left-Liberalism, Multiculturalism, Political Economy, Propaganda, Race, Racism, Republicans, Ron Paul

My new, WND.COM column is “Ron Paul: Stand Tall For Middle America.” Here’s an excerpt:

“Terrible,” “tricky” and “a phony”: Who was the incorrigible racist who thus described Martin Luther King Jr.? Was it the unknown author of the politically improper newsletters published under Rep. Ron Paul’s name during the 1980s and 1990s?

Not quite.

Those were the words of the nation’s most engaging first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy.

Audio recordings of Mrs. Kennedy’s historic 1964 conversations on life with John F. Kennedy were released in September of 2011. Conducted with the late historian Arthur Schlesinger—and delivered in her hallmark dulcet lilt and exquisite diction—the exchanges reveal Jackie as a dazzling conversationalist, and a forceful, thoughtful persona.

This Jacky O held a low opinion of MLK, the man America has since deified, and was unafraid to say as much.

There were many reasons not racist for which to dislike MLK, not least of them was the man’s dalliance with communists. “His associations with communists” is why Jacky’s husband, hero of Chris Matthews’ latest book, ordered the wiretaps on King.

Mrs. Kennedy’s brother-in-law, Robert Kennedy—recounts Patrick J. Buchanan in his towering “Suicide of a Superpower”—“saw to it that the FBI carried out the order.” Among his other endearing qualities, the not-so enchanting Martin Luther King had “declared that the Goldwater campaign bore ‘dangerous signs of Hitlerism.”

Indisputably, MLK set the tone for “assailing America as irredeemably racist” forever after. Other brothers have built on MLK’s work to sculpt careers as professional race hustlers.

Faithful to this legacy, the media monolith has been fulminating over the reference in the Ron Paul newsletters to …” MORE in “Ron Paul: Stand Tall For Middle America.”

My book, “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa,” is available from Amazon. (Don’t forget those reviews; they help this cause.)

A Kindle copy is also on sale.

Still better, shipping is free and prompt if you purchase Into the Cannibal’s Pot from The Publisher.

UPDATE I: IN THIS COLUMN I was trying hard to show how everyone, Paul too, twists into pretzels in order to blame … white, liberal politicians for the problems in the black community. It’s the explanation du jour: Democrats corrupted the black community. The Democrats ate my homework. Nothing, not even hags like Pelosi, can explain away the facts in my column.

But bad habits die hard. Our Myron writes:

There are 500,000 blacks in federal prison for non-violent drug offenses that would be free if that “racist” [Ron Paul] had his way! And there would likely be less “real crime” (against people and property) without the idiotically distorted economy created by the War on Drugs and anti-business regulations.

I oppose the war on drugs, always have. But unlike the libertine perspective that I believe Myron echoes, I have no delusions about the drug dealer. He is NOT a productive member of society, who has been corrupted by politicians. He is unlikely to become a productive member of society once drugs are legalized. If anything, the dealer is more likely a low-life looking for a way to make a living that involves no graft.

On the heels of legalization, the price of drugs will drops as the price is “pushed up by the high costs of circumventing the law as well as by the reduced supply brought on by prohibition.” Once the price of drugs drops, do you think, Myron, that the hoodlums that we’ve just released will open up a mom and pop store supplying medical marijuana to the needy at the new, lower prices?

Our hoodlum will go in search of other sources of easy, no-graft cash. Upward mobility for the drug dealers is the next most lucrative contraband that will yield maximum profit with minimum effort.

“For the sins of man, hard leftists blame society, and hard-core libertarians saddle the state. “The State made me do it” is how such social determinism can be summed-up.”

UPDATE II: As an addiction expert explained to me, many cocaine or heroine recreational users work, are productive, and manage to keep their use under control. It is no one’s business what they do in private, so long as they perform the jobs for which they are hired and do not aggress against others.

I have distinguished the user from the dealer; and the recreational user from the addict. Naturally, none of these people should be arrested, except for property or other crimes perpetrated (for instance, if a used needle was tossed in a park, and someone was stuck and became ill; nab the user for harm done). However, don’t expect a good “career” outcome, post legalization, for the career dealer in the hood. Pimping and stealing will likely be his next “career” options. It is one thing to be pro-legalization on the grounds that an individual owns his body. It is quite another to fantasize about human nature. Were I Paul, I would follow up wishy-washy exhortation to legalize drugs with promises to enforce the law against property crimes and other spillover effects that may accompany the loss of an easy buck.

UPDATE III: Loser Libertarian Lunges At Lew Rockwell. Some loser writes (ungrammatically) on the Daily Paul, no less: “Lew Rockwell ‘may have’ wrote racist newsletters! research this for yourself!”

The corollary of my latest column is that only the obsequious lick-spittle toadies among us libertarians are going to use this mainstream argument to launch a witch hunt against other libertarians. The “Lite” variety of libertarian will relish the ideologically confused in-fighting, for he is indistinguishable from the Left in may ways.

UPDATE IV: Via LRC.COM. Robin Williams’ quips are not “racist”; in the context, they were realistic:

UPDATE V (Dec. 31): RAPE IN NORWAY IS AN IMPORTED AFFAIR.

UPDATE VI: DJ: What the Norwegian officer says is not unreasonable; you don’t want individuals to be stigmatized. At the same time, you’d like these Norwegian girls to be forewarned by their elders to watch out for themselves. You would never find American law-enforcement officers making such an honest admission. Should you, do send it along … before the officer is fired. Europe is way ahead of the US in exposing the unhappy cult of multiculturalism.


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