Re: The Intellectual Origins Of America-Bashing By Lee Harris

From: Jeremy Bradley (
Date: Thu 12 Dec 2002 - 04:11:26 GMT

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    This is a good exchange of perceptions Joe. We differ in large areas, however some of the points you raise pass through my memetic filters so I therefore consider them valid. Equally, some of the points that I raise pass through your memetic filter and you think of them as reasonable. Perspectives are always formed from information viewed through a memeticly constructed cultural lens and, having been raised in relatively similar cultures (all the John Wayne movies were shown here, and we have Big-Mac and Coke), this is predictable. What I want to do here is go through Joe's post and, instead of disputing his ideology, pick out a few memetic case-studies.

    >> Jeremy:
    >> 'Memes only accept the acceptable' is what I meant to say above. For
    >> example there is an Australian incarcerated in Camp X-ray who fought
    >> against Milosevic, Karadzic, Mladic and the Russians with the
    >> Mujahadin (sp?). If any of them had captured him and held him in
    >> inhumane conditions with no charge, no contact and no hope we would
    >> have tried like hell to get him back and, if we did, many would have
    >> acclaimed him as a hero. Yet, as he was captured by the 'angels' our
    >> Government is not interested in his welfare in the least. As it is we
    >> don't know whether he was or wasn't involved with terror as he has no
    >> human-rights, no representation, NO CHARGE, no family contact and no
    >> hope of a finite detention but we don't care cos we are pandering to
    >> the US cos we want trade liberalisation, (did you hear how fast our PM
    >> wound back his rhetoric when Iraq threatened to cancel wheat
    >> purchases?) You can see that the same man fighting the same cause, at
    >> least in his memetic construct it probably was, is treated entirely
    >> differently.
    >In Afghanistan he would have been fighting with Al Quaeda or the
    >Taliban; in Bosnia-Herzegovina, there was an Al Quaeda sleeper cell
    >broken up that was planning attacks against peacekeeping interests
    >there. In one case he was attacking one totalitarianism, but in both
    >cases he would have been fighting on behalf of another one.

    Thanks for the information Joe. I actually don't know much about this alleged Al Quaeda fighter, which is why I raised it. I simply used his case as one example of perceived USAnian double standards on peace, justice, liberty and human rights. It is not my intention to argue, just to examine the oppositional constructs. However, as I am bound by the constraints of my own justice memeplex, IMO the man has had no trial, so we don't know if he is guilty of anything. Also, he is human and deserves a basic level of humane treatment regardless of his crime. It is my understanding that he has no immediate prospect of either of these. The world sees events such as this through many cultural lenses,
    'Islamofascists' being just one small group.

    >> IMO, angels and devils are memeticly and culturally
    >> specific constructs which lead to inescapably subjective
    >> opinion-making. Lawry wants to talk about the formation and
    >> foundations of a new dialogue between USAnia and the rest of the
    >> world, but we can't do that without addressing the hypocrisy, deceit
    >> and bullying by the US. For you they may be angels but IMO, for much
    >> of the rest of the world they are the devils.
    >They are definitely devils in the eyes of aggressive and bloodthirsty
    >tinhorn despots and dictators. In such cases, the angels are those who
    >the devils consider to be devils. And your attempt to foist absolute
    >relativism (a contradiction in itself) into the discussion and thus reject
    >humanistic values whatsoever, founders on the rocks of who the
    >despots and dictators are.

    Jeremy: I agree here Joe, but the point that is more relevant is not what the extreemist thinks, we know that and we know, mostely, how those opinions were formed. What I am more interested is in the formation of more mundane realities in the minds of the masses.

    > One who fights one despot in the name of another, but who still plans to
    turn his attention to you as soon as he is
    >done, in the name of the same despot he is fighting for now, is not an
    >angel. He is a memebotic robot who is commanded by a despot,
    >wishing to murder for his 72 virgin houris right along with the rest of the
    >Islamofascists, and his chosen despot simply tells him who to murder to
    >breach the gates of Paradise. Many at camp X-Ray have stated that
    >they are lifelong acolytes of Bin Laden, and will kill as many infidels as
    >they can murder, as often as they can do it, if ever again given the
    >chance. Are you sure your Aussie isn't among them, and if he is, do
    >you really want him walking among you and yours?

    Jeremy: Once again I agree, tho' I wouldn't have used these particular words, that a "memebotic robot who is commanded by a despot" would not be a good neighbour. However, as your libertarian democracy won't allow him to be tried in a Court of Law and judged by a jury of his peers, we don't know what he is - and neither do you.

    >> You may well ask why I am
    >> so cynical about USAnian Foreign Policy Joe; Vietnam, in a word.
    >Here's a phrase for you: WW II. And also the conflicts that the US has
    >gotten into in the past 10 or 12 years, mostly at allies' behests, have not
    >been those that anyone with a humanistic conscience and no personal
    >agenda could conscientiously criticize. It is your own bias that choose
    >Vietnam and Central America over WW I, II, Korea, and the more
    >recent Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Haiti, Bosnia, Somalia, and on and on
    >and on...

    Jeremy: What can I say? Vietnam was my war. It split society right down the middle. We still haven't recovered from it. So sure I am biased. Do you have no biases?

    >> I had
    >> my innocence stripped away by the realisation that my mates died, were
    >> wounded or were mentally scared for the benefit of Bell, Boeing, GE,
    >> Westinghouse, etc. As one USAnian General said, "it's a shity little
    >> war, but it's the only one we have got". IMO the USAnian
    >> military/industrial complex needs a war at all times in order to
    >> justify its existence and to keep the stock-market up. War is kind of
    >> like viagra for a flaccid market, but I've got no shares so I don't
    >> need it to be hard all the time. BTW don't think that this is "America
    >> (sic) bashing", it is just my attempt at explaining the memetics of
    >> difference. Jeremy
    >Actually, it is several voices from the present and former military that
    >have been arguing against an Iraqi engagement, because it would
    >mean that they'd have to actually DO something with all that money
    >they get shoveled their way. Most generals would prefer never to
    >engage an enemy, and simply to train forever. And the effect upon the
    >US economy of a war with Iraq has been calculated (by Nobel Laureate
    >Robert Samuelson)to be highly negative (yet endurable); changing that
    >regime would be happening IN SPITE OF the economic consequences,
    >not BECAUSE OF them.

    Careful Joe, other empires have fallen this way. If you can't afford this war, how can you afford the next one, and the one after that, and the one after that? Indestructible America is a memetic construct Joe, not a reality. Jeremy

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