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June 01, 2004
A pause in the action

I've been challenged to describe precisely what it is I believe.

This could take a while.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:35 PM


If this involves the comment thread about marketing and failed liberalism and consumption (not TB), then I can't wait to see what you say.

For the record, I believe that the problems that face us are made way too complicated and that we'd know the right thing when were were doing it because there wouldn't be an globally institutionalized gap between the haves and have-nots (and the are and are-nots in the case of cultural disputes) and we wouldn't be killing each other in staggering numbers to preserve that disparity. As long as we live on a planet with an capitalist economy, that isn't going to happen.

On the other hand, I also believe that the capacity for the selfish and fearful among us and from every walk of life to tear a generous, tolerant system down is greater than the capacity for the good among us to build one. But we have to keep trying.

Posted by: eRobin at June 1, 2004 03:14 PM

Sorry, there was supposed to be a hyperlink there: Bill Staines' "Quiet Faith of Man" (No, I've never heard an ungendered version, nor can I come up with one that scans, sorry)

Posted by: Jonathan Dresner at June 1, 2004 03:16 PM

I should have said this before, but let me assure everyone that I appreciate the supportive links. :) (Jonathan, I fixed your tag.)

I'm doing some reading, trying to figure out if I'm using words the same way everyone else does. I have a fair amount of airport/flight time this weekend that I plan to use to work on a post.

In the meantime, and since I'm fairly certain everyone has stopped reading this particular thread, let me take the opportunity to complain that if I'd had any idea anyone was going to take anything I say seriously, I probably wouldn't have said so much.

I probably wouldn't have said anything.

I was just talking, okay? Just thinking out loud, sort of thing. Sheesh.

Posted by: Anne at June 3, 2004 02:47 PM

eRobin - Liberalism hasn't failed. It just hasn't completely succeeded yet.

Posted by: Anne at June 3, 2004 02:48 PM

Anne: Thanks for fixing the tag.

"Leibniz laid down exact definitions, which deprived him of the agreeable liberty to misuse his terms upon occasion." (Fontenelle, quoted in Marc Bloch, The Historian's Craft)

I have a pretty low tolerance for people who insist on precise, singular definitions of commonly understood terms with multiple specific uses and historical definitions. Frankly, it makes discussion more difficult, not less.

I have a great deal more sympathy for the case-study method: make enough decisions about enough specific cases, generalize, then build in exceptions and observe border conditions as necessary until new generalizations are possible/necessary. That's the way our legal system has worked for millenia....

Posted by: Jonathan Dresner at June 3, 2004 09:11 PM

And yet, I don't want to say "populist" in a situation where I intend to say "progressive" or anything like that since, in dictionary terms, the two political positions aren't the same.

Posted by: Anne at June 9, 2004 08:20 AM