First Principles

So I've been having this running debate on an anti-gun blog and it occurred to me that the debate is totally NOT about guns. It's truly about first principles. We will never agree on the meaning of 'common sense' so the idea of us agreeing on anything is likely impossible.

At the national level we are all left with the uneasy feeling that there is no real difference between the parties. Likely because there isn't. It's better at the local levels and as the tea party folks infiltrate and gain control of the levers of power we have SOME hope of fiscal changes. The problem is that fiscal responsibility is just the tip of the 'personal' responsibility iceberg and, as a nation, we are life times away from being ready for people to be personally responsible in the way the founders intended again.

On the Smallest Majority site he quoted a former blogger that went by the moniker "ironbear" I wish I had said these words because it so totally defines the conflict between the 'left' and the 'right' and WHY they act like horse's asses when they are confronted with someone that disagrees with them.

Iron Bear wrote these words before the rise of the Tea Party, but they are prescient in terms of the left's reaction to them.

He said.
It would be a mistake to paint the conflict exclusively in terms of "cultural war," or Democrats vs Republicans, or even Left vs Right. Neither Democrats/Leftists or Republicans shy away from statism... the arguments there are merely over degree of statism, uses to which statism will be put - and over who'll hold the reins. It's the thought that they may not be left in a position to hold the reins that drives the Democrat-Left stark raving.

Stark Raving indeed.

So this brings us to Thomas Sowell. Perhaps the greatest living mind capable of exact social commentary on this conflict of visions.

Again, from the Smallest Majority..

On "knowledge and reason," Sowell writes:

In the constrained vision, any individual's own knowledge alone is grossly inadequate for social decision-making, and often even for his own personal decisions. A complex society and its progress are therefore possible only because of numerous social arrangements which transmit and coordinate knowledge from a tremendous range of contemporaries, as well as from the even more vast numbers of those from generations past. Knowledge as conceived in the constrained vision is predominately experience -- transmitted socially in largely inarticulate forms, from prices which indicate costs, scarcities, and preference, to traditions which evolve from the day-to-day experiences of millions in each generation, winnowing out in Darwinian competition what works from what does not work.

And the unconstrained vision?

The unconstrained vision had no such limited view of human knowledge or its application through reason. It was the eighteenth-century exemplars of the unconstrained vision who created "the age of reason," as expressed in the title of Thomas Paine's famous book of that era. Reason was as paramount in their vision as experience was in the constrained vision.

Given the ability of a "cultivated mind" to apply reason directly to the facts at hand, there was no necessity to defer to the unarticulated systemic processes of the constrained vision, as expressed in the collective wisdom derived from the past.

Implicit in the unconstrained vision is a profound inequality between the conclusions of "persons of narrow views" and those with "cultivated" minds. From this it follows that progress includes raising the level of the former to that of the latter.

So we are forever branded as the "persons of narrow views" as thus will always be the targets of those who think that we can be educated into thinking "correctly"

The problem is that when "education" doesn't go as fast or achieve the desired thinking, we end up being the butt of jokes and ridicule, as if our message can be blunted by that.

Perhaps they are right. The John Stewarts of the world provide the majority of the "news" to the young college aged people and they very deftly use comedy to make fun of "persons of narrow views"

By the way. Don't try "reason" they don't work that way. All they will understand in the end is the word "NO".

My youngest daughter once had a tee shirt that said "You're not the boss of me!"

Sooner or later we will be forced to show them that "Oh, yes I am" and begin the long climb back, and I fear the "how" that happens, or we will simply fade away and our country will languish until the barbarians come to put it out of it's misery and the great experiment in freedom will be over.