Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Authoritarian and the nature of the world

Intolerance of ambiguity is the mark of an authoritarian personality. - Theodor Adorno

see also John Dean

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President Bush answers a few questions - Aug 18, 2006

Q Mr. President, the federal ruling yesterday that declared your terrorist surveillance program unconstitutional -- the judge wrote that it was never the intent of the framers to give the President such unfettered control. How do you respond, sir, to opponents who say that this ruling is really the first nail in the coffin of your administration's legal strategy in the war on terror?

THE PRESIDENT: I would say that those who herald this decision simply do not understand the nature of the world in which we live. You might remember last week working with the -- with people in Great Britain, we disrupted a plot. People were trying to come and kill people. [Dude wonders to self....this murder stuff is new???]

Q Mr. President, on Lebanon, how can you say that Hezbollah has suffered such a bad defeat when it's rebuilding -- helping rebuild in southern Lebanon, and it remains intact? And secondly, are you disappointed at all about France's decision to scale back its support of the international force?

THE PRESIDENT: I think when people take a sober look at what took place in Lebanon, they'll realize that the destruction was caused by Hezbollah. Hezbollah caused the crisis. It was Hezbollah's kidnapping of Israeli soldiers, as well as Hezbollah's launching rockets that caused Israel to defend herself from an action that the Lebanese government didn't support.

The first reaction, of course, of Hezbollah and its supporters is, declare victory. I guess I would have done the same thing if I were them. [indeed] But sometimes it takes people a while to come to the sober realization of what forces create stability and which don't. [apparently so]

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The moral code depends for its validity upon a consensus of human opinion about what man's nature really is, and what it ought to be, when freed from this mysterious self-contradiction and enabled to run true to itself.

When there is a genuine conflict of opinion, it is necessary to go behind the moral code and appeal to natural law-to prove, that is, at the bar of experience, that St. Francis does in fact enjoy a freer truth to essential human nature than Caligula, and that a society of Caligulas is more likely to end in catastrophe than a society of Franciscans. [may the lesson be a short one]

Dorothy Sayers "The Laws of Nature and Opinion" The Mind of the Maker

'nuff said

2 comments:

rr_ said...

"...freer truth to essential human nature..."

I cannot parse that phrase.

Dude said...

Within the paragraph from which this excerpt has been taken, Ms. Sayers writes of the truth of man being freed from self-contradiction, i.e. running against one's own nature, or sinfullness. I assume she means to reference the notion of men so loving darkness that they are not "free" to see their truth, but I am no expert on her prose.