On the philosophical roots underlying Meryl Streep’s criticisms of President Trump
a person engaged or learned in philosophy, especially as an academic discipline.
ORIGIN Middle English: from Old French philosophe via Latin from Greek philosophos ‘lover of wisdom,’ from philos ‘to love’ + sophos ‘wise.’
“from Greek philosopos”
What to make of those philosophers who conceal the fact their culture is not compatible with its pretensions? Is to ‘love’ perpetrating a lie to make one ‘wise?’
“Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, was an English philosopher who is considered one of the founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book Leviathan, which established the social contract theory that has served as the foundation for most later Western political philosophy”
Distilled from Hobbes’ inordinately complex, attempted order of things, contradictory points made in ‘Leviathan’ may be summed up so: In the…
“natural condition of Mankind … the life of man [is] solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”
And in the same moment, without Man’s ‘natural reason’, God’s inspirations cannot be known:
“we shouldn’t renounce our senses and experience, or our natural reason, which is the undoubted word of God”
Do you suppose Hobbes actually meant to insinuate understanding derived from a man’s ‘naturally endowed’ beastly nature inspires one to deeper knowledge of God’s message? Is Hobbes acknowledging ‘God’s image, man’ is naturally possessed of the violence we have seen Englishmen, and their present day American cousins, visit upon every culture deemed inferior to their own?
Certainly not. If Hobbes were of a proclivity to be honest, he wouldn’t have to bury the contradictions of his culture in a massive circumlocution or a ‘leviathan’ that can serve no other purpose than to conceal a contradiction of ‘holiness’ inspired violence.
What we are actually looking at in the Hobbes example is, the phenomenon of Western philosophers burying western culture’s primal contradictions with artificially constructed complications, so those contradictions – in a culture incompatible with its’ pretensions – need never to be faced.
Hobbes is a master of this common (but patently dishonest) philosophical method. The result? A culture of philosophical progeny where, among other deceitful social phenomenon, you will find ‘prosperity gospel’ holding promise no matter your wealth derives from a military-industrial corporate colonialism responsible for the deaths of untold millions, if you ‘personally’ live an upright life and happen to be rich, it is because ‘God is blessing you’, the associated dead be damned of their (in your thinking) own volition.
At the other end of the spectrum? Hollywood actors, who make tremendous money selling distractions while profiting from the same cultural deceit; now shouting perfectly ineffectual ‘human rights’ remonstrations but kept their mouths shut when it had been the neo-liberal Obama pulling the trigger on drones slaughtering innocents.
Moving on to David Hume’s impossible postulation:
“In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with, I have always remarked, that the author proceeds for some time in the ordinary ways of reasoning, and establishes the being of a God, or makes observations concerning human affairs; when all of a sudden I am surprised to find, that instead of the usual copulations of propositions, is, and is not, I meet with no proposition that is not connected with an ought, or an ought not. This change is imperceptible; but is however, of the last consequence. For as this ought, or ought not, expresses some new relation or affirmation, ’tis necessary that it should be observed and explained; and at the same time that a reason should be given, for what seems altogether inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from it. But as authors do not commonly use this precaution, I shall presume to recommend it to the readers; and am persuaded, that this small attention would subvert all the vulgar systems of morality, and let us see, that the distinction of vice and virtue is not founded merely on the relations of objects, nor is perceived by reason”
…is summed up in Western ethics as ‘Hume’s guillotine’ or the ‘ought-is problem.’ Now, forgive my naiveté when faced with this immutable Western dilemma of philosophy where the ‘ought-is problem‘ is posed…
“how, exactly can an “ought” be derived from an “is”? The question, prompted by Hume’s small paragraph, has become one of the central questions of ethical theory”
…as it occurs in my small universe if:
- A corporation is paying militia to terrorize the people of the Congo to buy rare minerals on the cheap. As this is a crime, hadn’t the people responsible ought be punished? David Hume’s cultural progeny would bury it with ‘how can an ought be derived from an is’ circumlocution (as if assigning responsibility were not possible.) So it is, Bush-Cheney walked free from a world-wide crimes spree when Barack Obama ‘looked forward, not back’ because we ought move on (move along folks, nothing to see here.) Meanwhile, on Obama’s watch, American special operations commandos deployments to the Middle East dropped 55% but climbed in Africa by 1,600%. How easily ‘we’ twist the philosophy (is there not some collective responsibility? Had that ought not be punished?)
- Going to collective punishment, Jesus reputedly said “as you sow, so shall you reap”, patently ignored by both sides, more or less across the spectrum. But English philosophy is so convoluted, an evangelical can appear to believe Jesus saying “Blessed are the peace-makers” should be construed to speaking of, for all practical corporate colonial purposes, Colt revolvers.
Then, we come to Western Christian Civilization’s John Locke who no doubt had been influenced by Hobbes. Locke’s philosophy demands all men are born a completely blank slate upon which everything is drawn subsequently. In effect, there is no innate knowledge bestowed on man. If that were true, then Locke holding…
“The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men. It has God for its author; salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter. It is all pure”
…demands “God” who ‘created man in his image‘ couldn’t know the difference between his own butt-hole and either end of a hollow log, when he’d arrived on the scene in Genesis. No small wonder western philosophy is so fucked up.
The cumulative result should be no surprise, a culturally self-justified, rationalization for an unquestioned, unlimited State authority to rule over men and nations; nations of those very ruled over men who claim “They hate us for our freedoms.” But freedoms should not be conflated with ‘taking liberties.’ In reality, ‘they’ hate us for ‘taking the liberty’ of robbing their nations of natural resources at the point of a bayonet, for generations. When was Meryl Streep speaking out while Obama was ‘taking the liberty’ of slaughtering the innocents of multiple nations in ongoing resource grab, artificially propping up the outlandish standard of living, comparatively speaking, a majority of Americans actually believe they are entitled to? Where was Meryl Streep speaking out when Hillary was the first lieutenant of NATO, when NATO was decapitating the nation of Libya? The pretext of ‘humanitarian violence’ replacing Gaddafi’s relative few ‘abuses’ with tribal warlords, al Qaida and a chapter of Islamic State actually served to derail Libya transitioning to a gold backed dinar, an immense threat to the USA dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Why conceal the motive with a seeming compulsive lie? A matter of habit? More plainly, this is certain example of a culture’s action incompatible with its pretension. This is a matter of cultural habit.
Hobbes and his peers would not only be a supporter of the Divine Right of Kings & colonialism but in today’s world, with their self-serving convoluted denials of responsibility concealing contradiction – would support a modern police state and label it ‘freedom.’ English philosophy, deeply, culturally ingrained, but examined honestly, provides for apparatus of state represented in Robert Mugabe or Kim Jong-un as easily as a Barack Obama, The Donald, or The Donald’s rival, Hillary. They’re all cut from a similar cloth. They all behave as autocrats. They all either are, or harbor, kleptocrats. They’re all vampires, whether feeding off victims foreign or domestic or both. Their populations are, all, in some one respect or another, propagandized to point of immensely clueless. Their minions, for the greater part, don’t deviate from ‘the party line.’ They all suffer self-aggrandizing-self-conceited-self-deceits.
The substance of what Meryl Streep says (or doesn’t say) about Trump doesn’t bother me at all. What is astounding is, the stunning degree of hypocrisy, ingrained as it were, in the colonists’ philosophers and widely seen in their cultural progeny. Streep is, by definition, a colony sponsor; it matters not whether it were a historic rivalry between British sponsors of Rhode Island versus Massachusetts or Streep as sponsor of Hillary’s efforts at colonizing Syria with regime change versus The Donald’s desire to recolonize Iran. When the colonizing leader was to Streep’s liking, whether Obama or Clinton, she kept her mouth shut.
Per the inherent denial built into the English language philosophical patrimony, represented in Streep and her sincere self-deceit she holds the moral high ground, better were our inherited English philosophers labeled ‘falsifiers’, the phonetics seem close enough: fəˈläsəfər
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