John Cleese on the Virtues of Extremism

3 Aug


Two things:

1. Interesting that in late 70s/early 80s Britain, “meddlesome clergy” were an enemy of the extreme right.

2. This is so dead-on as it relates to contemporary American politics as to make me wonder when, if ever, moderation will gain favor in this country again.

18 Responses to “John Cleese on the Virtues of Extremism”

  1. Jackstraw August 3, 2009 at 9:36 am #

    Extremism is simply a smeer against consistent people viz, they don’t hold contradictory premises. It does not say whether said folks are right or wrong but nonetheless they are consistent. Folks use the extremism smeer usually when they embrace emotionalism. I feel such in such should be the case and how dare you folks point out the inconsistency in said thought your just extremists. For instance if one wishes to advocate universal health care as a “right” and another person points out that you can’t have a “right” to violate another person’s “rights” the latter person is tagged as extreme. Besides the fact that universal health care requires state violence, expropriation, a violation of the right to freely contract with other people (very inhumane stuff) and a giant delusion that the state can provide anything is disregared by the emotionalist as simply extremist crazy talk and so this is the depth of the national “debate”.

  2. Mike In WNY August 3, 2009 at 10:00 am #

    @Jackstraw, very well put!

  3. The Humanist August 3, 2009 at 10:41 am #

    Projecting nutjobs, right on cue

  4. Jackstraw August 3, 2009 at 5:16 pm #

    Nutjob, extremist whatever all varients of ad hominum.

  5. Chris Smith August 3, 2009 at 7:55 pm #

    I don’t think libertarians are extremist, I believe they are selfish, under-educated dummies who like to blame government and society for their lack of personal success.

    They gravitate to a rigid ideology which explains things in a very black and white manner because they are incapable of understanding nuance and/or critical analysis.

    In fact, I would be totally cool if we gave them 2 or 3 states in which they could set up their personal Darwinistic “lord of the flies” wonderland. That way, the adults could get back to doing serious things without the constant bleating about Jefferson and Mises from the Lew Rockwell crowd.

    Feel free to take the theocrats, birthers, and Sarah Palin acolytes with you.

  6. Jackstraw August 3, 2009 at 10:22 pm #

    Selfish – acting in ones own interest (like eating, going to work, being generally responsible, being educated, avoiding criminals, etc) Not sure what’s wrong with that. Under-educated dummies (besides being just another ad hominum attack it’s also just silly. Seeing that most libertarians have to read all the garbage that is proffered in college and then all the libertarian stuff to boot means most of us are well read. Almost every libertarian I know is either a Phd, JD or working toward one of the two again….silly. I understand that’s what passes for an argument here.) Incapable of understanding nuance and/ or critical analysis–( I guess what passes for critical analysis is foggy uncertinty and lots of grey areas in your book especially since you have a problem with black and white…which is tough to grasp seeing that ..All libertarians are selfish, under educated dummies who like to….sounds pretty black and white to me. Guess I don’t see the nuance.

  7. Ray August 3, 2009 at 11:23 pm #

    I’m an extremist libertarian. I believe stealing is a crime and immoral too.
    Counter that with a liberal who believes stealing is a crime and immoral too—except when the government does it for my progressive causes.
    That’s a nuance, don’t you think Chris?

  8. Christopher Smith August 4, 2009 at 12:30 am #

    Selfish – acting in ones own interest (like eating, going to work, being generally responsible, being educated, avoiding criminals, etc)

    Because you don’t live in a fucking bubble.

    As an aside, can we get a ban on the various misspellings and overuse of the faux intelligent term “ad hominem”? It’s use seems constrained to political discussions on the web and is just douchey.

  9. Mike In WNY August 4, 2009 at 12:50 am #

    Actually, libertarianism is based on logic and understanding the nuances of do-gooder laws and policies which are based on immoral principles and result in unintended consequences worse than the intended goal. It is also knowing the difference between wanting something and taking something, a lesson that should have been learned by the age of 3.

    We respect two things, freedom and reality, neither of which should be taken lightly.

  10. Jon Splett August 4, 2009 at 3:01 am #

    Don’t feed the trolls Chris.

    They can’t even break the script to reply to criticism of them never breaking the script.

    It’s like talking to a chat bot.

  11. Jackstraw August 4, 2009 at 5:20 am #

    Sorry, ad hominem didn’t even realize I was doing it. I’ll stop using it when you substitute insults and jeers for argument. It is what it is. It’s a Logic term that describes perfectly what a lot of people on these blogs do when they can’t go beyond memorized mantras, viz think. Now Chris how does my eating, breathing, going to work and generally being responsible (being selfish) seem to be a problem outside of a bubble. (Clue to those uneducated folk his answer will probobly show how the general left wing sees the vast amount of humanity. )

  12. Mike In WNY August 4, 2009 at 10:02 am #

    It is probably too much to ask of public schools in general, but doesn’t law school teach logic and critical thinking?

  13. Mike In WNY August 4, 2009 at 10:25 am #

    @Jackstraw, progressives don’t like terms that describe things realistically. If they did, we would have the proposed Government Socialist Health Care bill instead of the “public option”, which is designed to sound nice even though it is the epitome of evil. Since people are not taught the value of the constitution and freedom, they do not have the ability to critique said crap.

    • Alan Bedenko August 4, 2009 at 10:26 am #

      The public option is the epitome of evil?

      Yes. It’s evil to ensure that entrepreneurs and other people unable to purchase affordable health insurance be able to do that. It’s “evil”.

  14. Ray August 4, 2009 at 10:51 am #

    Ensure? In all the history of do-gooderness in healthcare, the only thing that ever came of it was ensuring that people couldn’t afford it or ensuring that people painfully sacrificed a disproportionate part of their earnings to afford it. And you want us to accept more of your goodness? That would be evil.

    • Alan Bedenko August 4, 2009 at 11:06 am #

      Ray – I’ll be sure to remember that next time a person with no health insurance pops in to their local emergency room to attend to a non-emergent problem and we all get to absorb the bill.

  15. Ray August 4, 2009 at 6:06 pm #

    And with the so-called “public option” we all won’t get to absorb the bill? Knowing the sad track record of do-gooder economic miscalculations, that’s pretty far fetched.

  16. Mike Walsh August 4, 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    “I don’t think libertarians are extremist, I believe they are selfish, under-educated dummies who like to blame government and society for their lack of personal success.”

    Name some libertarians who are under-educated and lack personal success. Just in our small local group alone we have lawyers, professors, accountants, IT and business owners.

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