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Spengler

Dr. Dre and Putin

May 9th, 2014 - 4:12 pm

Unlike Pat Buchanan and some other conservatives, I don’t think that Vladimir Putin’s support of traditional values makes him a good guy. Freedom comes first. I also support traditional values but I don’t want the government to shove them down my throat. Banning obscenity from entertainment media, Putin’s latest ukase,  would keep Shakespeare, Goethe and Dante out of circulation in their original form, not to mention Rabelais or Villon.

What we do with our freedom is another thing. Apple has just bought Dr. Dre’s earphone company for $3.2 billion, making the rapper one of the country’s wealthiest men. One presumes that the selling point of his earphones is not their superior technical characteristics but their association with Dre’s rapping, which is too disgusting to illustrate on this site; readers may satisfy their prurient curiosity here.  Dre raps about drug use, rape, pimping and violence: he is a repulsive degenerate whom a healthy society would excrete and forget. Dre’s $3.2 billion score gauges the popularity of evocations of rape and murder.

There is no guarantee that freedom will prevail over dictatorship. I reviewed some of the history here.

Democracies do not necessarily field the most efficient or enthusiastic armies. The French under Napoleon and the Germans under Hitler were the best soldiers of their day. Democracies have one important advantage, namely the capacity to correct errors. Democracies do not necessarily make better decisions than dictatorships in each case, but they are less like to perpetuate errors. It is easy to replace an elected leader who goes mad; not so a charismatic tyrant. This makes the ultimate victory of democracies more probable, but hardly inevitable. It may be likely that a charismatic tyrant will make decisive errors, but it is far from assured that such error will be made soon enough to make it possible to defeat the tyrant at the right moment. I like to think that providence was at work during the Second World War, but that sort of question is above my pay grade.

A people can will itself out of existence democratically as well as by any other means: France did so during the 1930s, and survived the clutches of Nazi Germany thanks to the Allies.

Putin’s mission is to save Russia from dissolution. Ten years ago, with a fertility rate of just 1.2 children per female and fourth-world life expectancy for men, Russia seemed doomed. The fertility rate since has recovered to 1.7, for reasons we do not adequately understand. Part of the reason surely is renewed national self-confidence.

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Top Rated Comments   
What we have in Putin is a clear example of an evil man doing good things.

What we have in Dr. Dre (if the sale turns out to be fact--which hasn't been confirmed of this writing) is a case of the market, separated from moral commitments, doing evil things.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Freedom comes first. I also support traditional values but I don’t want the government to shove them down my throat."

I think we are learning by experience that virtue comes first, before freedom. We have, or have had plenty of freedom but as we have lost virtue and self control that freedom becomes anarchy. To ameliorate the effect of anarchy we get increasing authoritarianism in the name of increasing freedom.

I also don't want the government to shove virtue down my throat, but of course that is the opposite of what the government is doing now. The US Government is institutionalizing perversion and wickedness. Note the celebration of P-Riot, a group which desecrated a Cathedral. Its not just the government of course, witness Harvard sponsoring the conjuring up of a demon: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/feastofeden/2014/05/harvard-can-do-better-than-give-a-platform-to-a-black-mass-promoter-who-ridicules-sex-abuse-victims/ .
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm less worried about Dr Dre than I am of the faculties at American universities. They have the minds of our children for four of their most formidable years. That's scary!
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (91)
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Spengler here has proposed an argumentation that floats between a pragmatic justification of democracy and categorial value assertions, e.g. "Freedom comes first". Indeed, "DEMOScracy" is simply equated with "freedom". For my part I find DEMOScracy objectionable where not severly limited by non-democratic features of a constitutional republic (such as the US used to be, cf. Thomas Woods' "Who Killed the Constitution?").

Democracy is justified by Spengler as a pragmatic means of correcting errors. The idea hits my Germanic mind that Hitler used the democratic forms of the Weimar Republik to become the Chancellor and then got the legislature to vote democratically to dissolve itself permanently, thus making him the "Führer" for life (something like Julius Caesar did in becoming "democratically" the dictator for life--thereby ending the Roman res publica). I do not see how "democracy" an sich could have corrected that quaint error of electing Hitler as the "Führer" (any more than I see now how democracy in Germany and Europe can correct the European rush into a transnational bureuacratic superstate [relative to which Putin's "nationalistic" reaction has gained some applause from "conservatives" here, yet outside the German democratic parties which have disarmed any real conservative particiapation in opposition]). But back to the democratically elected Führer.

Democracy expresses the "demos" by allowing the members of said body "freely" to chose their leader, new or not. The essential point is the "freely" constituted unity of the will of the people, this is the democratic moment. Such unity is the expression of democracy-freedom. I had an "ah-hah" moment on this watching the long documentary on the 1938 Nazi Party "meeting" at Nurnburg with a couple of hundred thousand attending. The propaganda reminded me of an American political convention whipping up the faithful for their democratically voted candidate. Well, after much propaganda and the stirring speech of a certain leader, the masses in one democratic act cried out "We, the demos, elect Hitler". Whoops, they really said "Heil Hitler", which I have but translated into democratic terms. The (at that time) freely experienced choice for Hitler was an expression of the FREE will of those attending, democratic to the core, only the "Volk" replaced the "Demos" as the terminology. I have gone back to Nazi democracy (sic), viz., Volkswille" in part to have a strong counter to Spengler's thesis and in part hopefully to suggest successfully that more is involved that (non-defined) "freedom", particularly the seemingly uncritical idenfication of freedom with democrary.

Enough for the moment. Freedom is NOT first! That is libertine-ism. Freedom with virtue is first or, as Hegel noted, freedom with(in) law, that duality is first. But virtue or law here is not just what the vox populi have decided, rather derived higher values (such as the non-democratic "inallienable"). Since 1973 American democracy (sic) has enabled the mass murder of 50++ millions of innocent humans by abortion. This development is a function of genuine "freedom" in a ''democracy" >> a "freedom" that makes me feel UNfree, well knowing that democracy will change nothing. No, Spengler needs to define terms if the fine theme is to become more than a stimulus for prejudices.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Banning obscenity from entertainment media, Putin’s latest ukase, would keep Shakespeare, Goethe and Dante out of circulation in their original form, not to mention Rabelais or Villon."

versus:

"Dre raps about drug use, rape, pimping and violence: he is a repulsive degenerate whom a healthy society would excrete and forget. Dre’s $3.2 billion score gauges the popularity of evocations of rape and murder."

Let's do a quick check:
Rabelais - wrote satire so "obscene" it was banned
Villon - a career criminal who murdered a man and wrote poetry about it
Goethe - wrote about suicide and making a deal with the devil
Dante - a political schemer who condemned his enemies to torture for all time in his poetry
Shakespeare - rape and murder are merely the beginning, with incest, regicide, familicide, and more abounding in his plays

Pot, meet Kettle.
Kettle, this is Pot.

You have met the enemy that is cultural arrogance promoting censorship for the common good and he is Spengler.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Re Fail Burton's comments on the USA fighting a massive war all alone against Japan....Japan also was fighting on many fronts throughout WW2. They had a massive army trying to conquer China, they had to garrison all of South East Asia, they fought Australian forces in Papua New Guinea, and they were trying to conquer British India. By 1944 they had three armies in Burma facing the British armies along the Indian border. Their defeat at Imphal in Burma in that year was their biggest defeat in the war up to that time. They also needed to keep an army in Manchuria to watch the Soviet Union, and some of their fleet was engaged in the Indian Ocean to protect their communications from the British naval forces operating out of Sri Lanka (Ceylon).
I suggest that Washington's Pacific war was against most of Japan's navy but only a small fraction of its land and air forces, and it is wrong to think that the Americans fought Japan's full strength all alone.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would suggest that Dre, whatever you think of him, looked at the lay of the land, took advantage of the situation and made a billionaire out of himself.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Conservative" is kind of an awkward fit for Buchanan, he's got these odd little tics that take precedence over what would ordinarily be considered Conservative principle. It's like he's Irish first, pointedly eccentric second, American third, Conservative fourth.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good grief. Dr. Dre has done exactly we want the underclass to do, make money (legally) and lift themselves out of poverty. We should be praising Dre, not cursing him (and by the way, he hasn't had an album in 15 years).
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm pretty sure people didn't have hate-speech and the over-the-top vulgarity of the Checkered Demon brought into the real world public arena in mind when they talked about boot-straps.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
We went into poor neighborhoods and replaced fathers with government checks. Now rather than compete for wives by offering stability and perhaps the hope of upward mobility, poorer men compete with a floor of about $40K in welfare payment value (in the north-east). Women can get this so long as there is not a man in the house.

If men cannot compete for women on the basis of resources, they must compete on the basis of what is left, aggression, manipulation and physical prowess. Additionally, while it is difficult for an low skilled husband to support more than one family, it is easy for one aggressive male to inseminate many women. Thus, we have designed a system that utterly marginalizes all but the most violent or manipulative males below a certain threshold level of wealth. Why? Because poor women are fairly rational actors, and the government magic check writing machine will not abandon them. Certainly welfare reform started to deal with this problem, but we've pretty well gotten back to the bad old days under Obama.

So, young men in poor areas are basically stuck in a cage match trying to attract the attention of women who essentially want only the most defiantly anti-social of their number...and all this is sponsored by the state that puts them in jail for the very anti-social acts that its policies drive...

...and we wonder why Rap Music exalts rape and shooting the police? It would be a miracle if it did not.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Every now and then, Spengler seems to stir in his grave.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Spengler is writing for PJ now? All I can say is WOW! One of my favorites, right up there in the top 1%.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks. I've been at PJ for two years.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I know, I've been reading you. You were hidden in plain sight.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to open the door to Chinese money as U.S. and European sanctions over Ukraine threaten to tip the economy into recession,"

“It’s a clinical fact” that China is heading to become the No. 1 state in the global economy, Putin said during his annual televised call-in show on April 17. Russia will develop ties with China and the two countries’ union will be a “significant factor” affecting the architecture of modern international relations, Putin said. "

"Russia invited China to join the Elga ( OAO Mechel (MTLR)’s Elga coal deposit in Yakutia) development, the government said on April 10 after Deputy Prime Minster Arkady Dvorkovich visited the country. Chinese cooperation on the Sakhalin-3 oil and gas project is also under consideration, the government said at the time."

"China is already one of the largest investors in OAO Uralkali, the Russian potash producer, with a 12.5 percent stake. China North Industries Corp. had plans to jointly develop nickel and copper fields in Russia with billionaire Oleg Deripaska’s companies, according to an initial agreement signed in 2012."

"Russia is also seeking China’s help to build a bridge to the annexed Crimean peninsula, Kommersant reported on May 5, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the government’s plans.

"The government will announce a tender to build a bridge across the Strait of Kerch to Crimea, with all international investors welcome to participate, Peskov said. The cost of construction is estimated to be at least 50 billion rubles ($1.4 billion), which may rise should it be decided to link the bridge to a railroad. "

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-08/putin-said-to-seek-chinese-money-with-limits-on-platinum-gold.html
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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