George Sarant

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Archive for the ‘morality’ Category

PERSONAL DUTY TO EACH OTHER

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I look upon the faces of mostly younger people on Linked In eager to move ahead in life, not only for themselves but for their communities and country, and I deeply empathize with them. If there were a way I could help every one of them along I would because they show me something positive that is almost entirely absent from the way we are portrayed in the mainstream media. They are, in fact, the future, because if them it looks a lot brighter, despite our present difficulties. 

I sincerely hope that things go well for all of them and that they all lead fulfilling lives, and this will happen for many, if not most. But sadly, when you get a large enough sampling, you know that some will not have it so good, perhaps struggling with illness or dying young. But you can’t know which ones they are, and their stories will only unfold over time. Tragic things happen, but it is almost always impossible to predict when they will occur, for the future is unknowable. No matter what else we do, in the end luck (or fate, as the ancients would put it) rules the day. All we can do is treat each other well and show kindness and consideration towards everyone we encounter. 

So it is really encouraging to see people not only seeking help for themselves but to help others out. I also believe that the older you are the more duty you have to give of yourself to others. Notice that I place the notion of sharing in the context of an individual duty, and not as the social obligation that some would force upon us. For those of us who consider ourselves conservative it is the individual who is at the center of all things, bearing responsibilities along with rewards. For the left everything is social. There is no individual responsibility but “social responsibility” that we must all share in. Unlike the left, we do not seek to use the state to force our vision of what should be on others, for we believe it emanates from the moral consciousness largely inculcated by our families, communities, and religion. If you have ever been puzzled as why so many affluent people are “liberal,” which would seem to contradict their interests the answer lies here. For unlike the Marxian dogma that everything is economic interest, there are other things at play. 

The truth is the reason the contemporary left wants to socialize things that are fundamentally part of individual relationships is in fact to absolve themselves of the personal duty that might otherwise be expected. They can’t be bothered, being too self-involved to deal with others in that way. Let someone else take care of things, i.e. the state.  In reality, they don’t recognize much in the way of “duty” at all, be it to country or even those immediately around them, nor its corollary, honor, which the rest of us holds dear. 

What I am doing here is beginning to turn the tables on the psychodynamics of the left, which, time and again has come up with nonsensical academic surveys purporting to show that conservatives are crazy, stupid, crypto-Nazis, authoritarians, etc. There will be much more on this to come. Enjoy it. 


 

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Written by georgesarant

May 31, 2012 at 7:54 PM

THE STAR SYSTEM

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The “star” system originated in the 19th century entertainment industry, but it really flourished in Hollywood and became entrenched., In the past the great studios exercised a good measure of control over excess, but they are long gone while the stars, such as they are today, remain. But the star system is no longer confined to Hollywood in America. It is now ubiquitous. That is obvious in professional sports, but it has also spread far afield, i.e. to the business world. Thus CEOs now find themselves on the cover of business magazines and treated like superstars, at least in terms of their pay packages.

This has resulted in a “winner take all” society where those at the top are disproportionately rewarded, deservedly or undeservedly, because they are in a position establish their own terms. The more advantages you have the more advantages you can obtain. This is one consequence of our free enterprise system, which I support, but I find such outcomes troubling given the resulting disparities.There is room for only a few at the top of the pyramid. I don’t subscribe to the “share the wealth” school of thought because it ultimately just makes everyone poorer. What I do find unacceptable is the undue awe and deference given to such people, which is almost entirely based upon money and notoriety.

We would be a far better society if those who possess an admirable degree of honor, integrity, character, and other intangible virtues were more highly regarded. There was a time when this was the case, when a man like George Washington was held in highest esteem by his contemporaries and succeeding generations, but this has been lost. We should hold the virtuous in highest regard, but this will only happen if our educational system emphasizes these characteristics. Instead today the emphasis is on building “self esteem,” which there is far too much of and results in all sorts of selfish behavior.

Too few of the “stars” in society display any sort of virtue that can be separated from ego gratification. They are famous because they want to be, and various public relations people manage their image. Apart from real disasters, most of what you read or hear in the news is placed by such representatives behind the scenes. The star system would collapse if no one paid attention to them, which would require a degree of maturity, as evidenced by the fact that those most impressed by celebrities tend to be teenagers.

True virtue is quiet and steady and is reflected in the way people live their lives. It is the basic decency of unsung heroes that makes life worthwhile. For in truth most of the people you have heard of today aren’t worth knowing about.

Written by georgesarant

July 11, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Posted in morality

A MORAL DILEMMA

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The Constitution guarantees freedom of expression, and the courts have scrupulously upheld this principle. The latest incarnation is the Supreme Court ruling striking down a law banning violent video games for children. In all such matters, whether it be pornography or extreme violence, the problem is children, and how to shield them from such things.

Television in particular is a problem. Although broadcast networks currently do not televise “adult” material during the hours children may be watching, they are constantly pushing the envelope, and moves are underway to remove even these restrictions. Cable is another thing, particularly “premium” services that people incomprehensibly pay extra for. In particular Showtime and Starz distribute shows that are truly disgusting.

Starz has hit rock bottom with Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, never mind that it has nothing to do with Spartacus. In addition to the expected over-the-top blood and gore, there is constant female as well as male nudity, including fully frontal shots, and every sort of sexual activity imaginable. It is essentially an hour of gay porn. Every other word is f–k. But this is not “adult” material; it is the sort of thing that attracts impressionable thirteen year olds males since the content is too dumb for an actual adult. Anyone with children ought to cancel Starz.

Californication on Showtime, as its title implies, is totally concerned with sexual escapades. But what this show unintentionally shows is a nihilistic, amoral, hedonistic culture that is in serious decline. Unfortunately such people totally dominate the entertainment industry, but demographics are not with them. They are a diminishing population in a sea of new arrivals with different perceptions of life and family. Although it characterizes the powerful in California, it is a society on the wane, and no longer points to the future.

If you pay for these “premium” channels you are essentially supporting shows like this, and no matter what restrictions you place your kids, teens in particular, will access them. Therein lies the dilemma- how to reduce these influences without compromising freedom. Surely such material ought to be restricted, but not by the government. Freedom of expression is too important and too precious a principle to be compromised. What is needed is self-restraint on the part of producers of “entertainment.” In the past the motion picture and television industry adhered to some standards as a result of public demand. Now there are no standards, thanks to degenerate liberalism. The only way to rectify this situation is for a large number of people to express their objection to such content and apply continuous pressure. Canceling pay services for stated reasons is particularly effective. These companies must learn that they cannot continue offending a very substantial portion of the population without consequences. After all, there are more of us than there are of them.

Written by georgesarant

June 28, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Posted in morality

WEENING THE GOVERNMENT

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Anthony Weiner is a man without honor, prudence, decency, or shame. Anyone with a sense of propriety would have resigned after the revelation that he had exposed himself online. But the standards of rectitude seem to apply only to Republicans, who consistently step down when a misdeed is uncovered. Weiner, a liberal hypocrite, was promoting himself to be the next Mayor of New York City before these revelations, and he still intends to hold onto his congressional seat. More mind-boggling is the fact that a majority of the voters in his district believe he should stay in office. What kind of people are they?

This country has the misfortune to have its major institutions dominated by a rotten elite- people without standards, who are contemptuous of the traditional values of the mass of the people. They control the media, the education system, the entertainment industry, and virtually all forms of communication. It is not so much that they are “liberal,” as that they are nihilists. They don’t believe in anything and ridicule anyone who does. But a person who believes in nothing will believe or fall for anything. Thus we find them forever attracted to radical propositions designed to upend society in order to “improve” it, and especially stand firm against “intolerance.” So apparently, due to the moral and intellectual failings of some people, we must tolerate Anthony Weiner and his ilk.

Given the myopia of his constituents, and the unlikelihood that he will be ejected from congress, the only way to get rid of Weiner is to eliminate his district in redistricting. New York is losing two congressional seats as it continues to hemorrhage people, so one of them might as well be his.

The other unpleasant thought is that people like this actually have power in this country. Do we really want to be ruled by such unprincipled scoundrels? The only way to protect ourselves and our children is with less government. The framers designed the constitution along these very lines, which have largely been abrogated, wherever possible, by the “liberals.” We need to return to basic constitutional principles that devolve the concentration of power in the federal government and restore decision-making to the lowest possible level; that is to say the community or the individual. We should be jealous of ceding control over our lives to government, given the imperfections of man, ideally to the point where government doesn’t matter.

Written by georgesarant

June 11, 2011 at 4:09 PM

FAREWELL TO MEN

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A recent survey indicated that women 22-34 now out earn men in their age group. This is largely a result of being better educated, as women now outnumber men in college. The social implications of this are profound and do not bode well for women as well as men. If women are better educated and earning more than their male peers, the prospects for finding a suitable mate are significantly reduced. The pool of marriageable men simply isn’t large enough. This also results in an increase in dysfunctional males avoiding, or unable to assume responsibility, and is a contributing factor in the rise in illegitimate births. The problem is less acute for affluent, college-educated couples who will go on to traditional social arrangements. But it also leaves an increasing underclass of fatherless children, who in turn will likely father and abandon children of their own.

This is exacerbated by the liberals war on traditional males. Nowadays in movies and tv shows we routinely see women kicking male butts, which is pure fantasy. It is a product of sissified Hollywood. Long gone are men like Clark Gable and Gary Cooper, never mind John Wayne. They have been replaced by boys or fools that never grow up. Where are the positive role models for young men? This is not simply a male complaint, for I cannot believe that women want these types for partners.

As the male role continues to be diminished we inevitably run up against the natural world, with destructive consequences. These conditions are only possible in civilized societies with the rule of law, but they are but a moment in the history of our species. Such a sudden shift is bound to have a profound effect on the psyche by upending all that has been built into us over countless thousands of years. I am not arguing for any government solution to a problem it has contributed to, but a cultural shift back to understanding what it means to be a man.

Written by georgesarant

September 2, 2010 at 10:07 PM

Posted in society, tradition

THE PEOPLE VS. THE COURTS

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Yesterday’s ruling by federal district judge in California overturning Proposition 8, which denied gay marriage rights is a travesty beyond measure. This basically denies the fact that society has the authority to define marriage, rendering it meaningless. You can be sure the nutty 9th Circuit Court of Appeals covering the area will rule along similar lines, and the Supreme Court is uncertain as it may decide to grab the power to decide this itself. Leaving aside the issue of gay marriage itself, what we have here is a judge overruling a sovereign vote of the people. This passed as a public referendum in California. No court should have the authority to overrule a referendum.

What will follow soon is a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman whatever the courts do, but this is a tedious process. We also need a constitutional amendment banning judges from overruling the results of a referendum period. No individual or court should possess such authority, and the judiciary has no right to grab it for itself.

Written by georgesarant

August 5, 2010 at 8:18 PM

Posted in government, morality, tradition

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HONOR AND PASSION

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For as much as we are capable of reason, human beings are also creatures of passion. This is usually most pronounced in adolescence when a river of emotion and hormones can sometimes overwhelm us. At that age we usually do not have the requisite perspective to tame or control these feelings. We are subject to animal instincts that are difficult to temper. There are two possible mechanisms of control- external, under the supervision, restriction, or approbation of others, or internal, by way of self-discipline and conscience. If the latter are not sufficiently developed, passion will continue to reign in adulthood.

Passion can be all-consuming and once in its grip everything else becomes secondary as perspective is lost. The rush of emotion can be so intense it overcomes all other considerations, resulting in a total absence of common sense. We are all subject to it, even superficially; who is not drawn to an attractive woman? But mechanisms of control must be developed, and values we think ought to provide some restraint do not seem to. Love cannot control it alone; one may truly love their spouse and yet succumb to aroused passions. Rectitude, faith, reason, and the moral sense cannot ameliorate lust when the fire burns. Why do otherwise sensible men behave like lovestruck teenagers?

All of this is in play in the case of Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina and the widely reported affair that seems to have effectively caused him to flip out and disappear to Argentina for a number of days. Republicans are far less tolerant than Democrats of errant behavior because we expect people to practice what they preach. Given that he heads what is just about the most Christian state in the union his position seems untenable to me.

I believe there is only one thing that suppress such passions, and that is honor. A well-developed sense of honor is what can keep passion in check. In the past it was honor that sustained unrequited love, based upon one’s sense of obligation and duty. Unfortunately in modern times it has fallen out of favor and self-aggrandizement is the order of the day. Honor can only be instilled by proper upbringing that enables one to resist temptation despite all that is going on around us. Unless and until we restore the value of honor to its proper place there is little to control an unchecked ego seeking to indulge itself.

Written by georgesarant

June 28, 2009 at 10:06 PM

Posted in morality

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