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Author Topic: Menno's Grand Plan Finally Unveiled  (Read 9249 times)

Russell Kanning

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Re: Menno's Grand Plan Finally Unveiled
« Reply #45 on: March 16, 2008, 10:50 PM NHFT »

I totally and unreservedly agree with you Caleb.
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srqrebel

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Re: Menno's Grand Plan Finally Unveiled
« Reply #46 on: March 16, 2008, 10:53 PM NHFT »

Menno, I know you don't use the word much, if at all, but just out of curiosity, do you consider yourself an anarchist? If not, what do you think of anarchists? I think I know the answer but I have a reason for asking.

I have already answered Dale in person, but for the sake of the readers:

"Anarchist" is a word that means so many things to so many people, that the question as stated is impossible to honestly answer with a 'yes' or a 'no'.

I do consider myself an anarchist in the sense that I do not advocate in any way that which currently passes for government.

I just as surely do not have any interest in voluntarily exposing myself to exploitation by criminals.  Any mechanisms and peaceable actions employed to deter crime, I consider to fall under genuine government.  Hence, the terms that most accurately describe me are "free marketeer" and "voluntaryist".
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Caleb

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Re: Menno's Grand Plan Finally Unveiled
« Reply #47 on: March 16, 2008, 11:01 PM NHFT »

I'm going to reprint this little piece from the Aim's & Means of the Catholic Workers. You want ideas as to *how* to get there, this is the Catholic Workers idea of how to do it.

--------

In contrast to what we see around us, as well as within ourselves, stands St. Thomas Aquinas' doctrine of the Common Good, a vision of a society where the good of each member is bound to the good of the whole in the service of God.

To this end, we advocate:

--Personalism, a philosophy which regards the freedom and dignity of each person as the basis, focus and goal of all metaphysics and morals. In following such wisdom, we move away from a self-centered individualism toward the good of the other. This is to be done by taking personal responsibility for changing conditions, rather than looking to the state or other institutions to provide impersonal "charity." We pray for a Church renewed by this philosophy and for a time when all those who feel excluded from participation are welcomed with love, drawn by the gentle personalism Peter Maurin taught.

--A decentralized society, in contrast to the present bigness of government, industry, education, health care and agriculture. We encourage efforts such as family farms, rural and urban land trusts, worker ownership and management of small factories, homesteading projects, food, housing and other cooperatives--any effort in which money can once more become merely a medium of exchange, and human beings are no longer commodities.

--A "green revolution," so that it is possible to rediscover the proper meaning of our labor and/or true bonds with the land; a distributist communitarianism, self-sufficient through farming, crafting and appropriate technology; a radically new society where people will rely on the fruits of their own toil and labor; associations of mutuality, and a sense of fairness to resolve conflicts.

* * *

We believe this needed personal and social transformation should be pursued by the means Jesus revealed in His sacrificial love. With Christ as our Exemplar, by prayer and communion with His Body and Blood, we strive for practices of

--Nonviolence. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God." (Matt. 5:9) Only through nonviolent action can a personalist revolution come about, one in which one evil will not be replaced simply by another. Thus, we oppose the deliberate taking of human life for any reason, and see every oppression as blasphemy. Jesus taught us to take suffering upon ourselves rather than inflict it upon others, and He calls us to fight against violence with the spiritual weapons of prayer, fasting and noncooperation with evil. Refusal to pay taxes for war, to register for conscription, to comply with any unjust legislation; participation in nonviolent strikes and boycotts, protests or vigils; withdrawal of support for dominant systems, corporate funding or usurious practices are all excellent means to establish peace.

--The works of mercy (as found in Matt. 25:31-46) are at the heart of the Gospel and they are clear mandates for our response to "the least of our brothers and sisters." Houses of hospitality are centers for learning to do the acts of love, so that the poor can receive what is, in justice, theirs, the second coat in our closet, the spare room in our home, a place at our table. Anything beyond what we immediately need belongs to those who go without.

--Manual labor, in a society that rejects it as undignified and inferior. "Besides inducing cooperation, besides overcoming barriers and establishing the spirit of sister and brotherhood (besides just getting things done), manual labor enables us to use our bodies as well as our hands, our minds." (Dorothy Day) The Benedictine motto Ora et Labora reminds us that the work of human hands is a gift for the edification of the world and the glory of God.

--Voluntary poverty. "The mystery of poverty is that by sharing in it, making ourselves poor in giving to others, we increase our knowledge and belief in love." (Dorothy Day) By embracing voluntary poverty, that is, by casting our lot freely with those whose impoverishment is not a choice, we would ask for the grace to abandon ourselves to the love of God. It would put us on the path to incarnate the Church's "preferential option for the poor."

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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Menno's Grand Plan Finally Unveiled
« Reply #48 on: March 17, 2008, 12:39 AM NHFT »

The dignity stuff is scary because it can basically be used to deny people freedoms—if something is “undignified” behavior, now it can be restricted. (This is not a hypothetical and has already been used in at least one actual legal case.)

If we were to ever establish a “free” society where freedom and dignity is the standard by which people’s actions are accepted or condemned, I can easily imagine things such as drug use, prostitution, and many of the other personal-freedom issues libertarians advocate for remaining restricted—just under a new rationale. Allowing oneself to become addicted to a drug is undignified. Prostituting oneself is undignified. &c., &c..
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KBCraig

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Re: Menno's Grand Plan Finally Unveiled
« Reply #49 on: March 17, 2008, 04:58 AM NHFT »

The dignity stuff is scary because it can basically be used to deny people freedoms—if something is “undignified” behavior, now it can be restricted. (This is not a hypothetical and has already been used in at least one actual legal case.)

Same for "disrespect", even against inanimate objects:

http://thenewspaper.com/news/22/2273.asp
UK: Heavy Sentence for Disrespecting Traffic Camera
Courts impose heavy sentences on motorcyclists accused of showing disrespect toward a speed camera.

Two UK motorcyclists received heavy court sentences for showing disrespect toward a speed camera.

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Caleb

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Re: Menno's Grand Plan Finally Unveiled
« Reply #50 on: March 17, 2008, 06:33 PM NHFT »

I think these arguments are specious, kb and jraxis. You don't make the same claim for "freedom". After all, I view wage slavery as a self-imposed attack on my own freedom. nonetheless, I work for a society where I don't have to make this choice, not a society where someone restricts me from making this choice. It's the same with dignity. The thought that a person is entitled to freedom and dignity means that a person ought to be free from having slavery and indignities imposed upon them, not that a person choosing undignified behavior ought to be a crime.

At heart, here, is an attempt to move beyond the concept of freedom, to a genuine brotherhood, where men lift each other up. and I think that is a necessary, yet overlooked component among those who claim to love freedom. The more I meditate on it, the more I see that freedom is impossible in a world of suspicion, and we must, more than anything else, modify those thoughts toward our fellow man that cause us to view him as something other than a beloved brother.

« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 06:36 PM NHFT by Caleb »
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: Menno's Grand Plan Finally Unveiled
« Reply #51 on: March 17, 2008, 06:49 PM NHFT »

Most of that is BS...
Justified by some socialistic ideal, that has no restrictions to its existance... except freedom of will.
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Caleb

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Re: Menno's Grand Plan Finally Unveiled
« Reply #52 on: March 17, 2008, 07:09 PM NHFT »

everybody wants some sort of nice objective standard by which they can write down complicated human interactions in a couple of sentences, "do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?" you better wake up, man, cause if you love freedom or not, that's the same sort of thinking that binds you to laws and legalism, and a desire to control. that's what it seems to me, anyway, that a whole bunch of people are going around talking about freedom, mainly because they've been on the losing end of the control game. but they can't yet see that you've got to move beyond the control game. it's the thinking. it's a circle, and you gotta break out. move beyond it. control is just an illusion, buddy, and when that illusion gives, the only response to try to keep it is violence. or else you can let go of the illusion of control and try to figure out a way of getting along without killing each other. that's all it is. all the rest is just a bunch of word games. and my friend russell's sitting in a jail cell, mainly cause someone thought about rules instead of thinking about a man who has a wife, and who has friends. rules, objective behavior, this and that over and above that and this, that's all that it gets you man. wake up and smell the doritos.
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Menno's Grand Plan Finally Unveiled
« Reply #53 on: March 17, 2008, 07:10 PM NHFT »

I think these arguments are specious, kb and jraxis. You don't make the same claim for "freedom". After all, I view wage slavery as a self-imposed attack on my own freedom. nonetheless, I work for a society where I don't have to make this choice, not a society where someone restricts me from making this choice. It's the same with dignity. The thought that a person is entitled to freedom and dignity means that a person ought to be free from having slavery and indignities imposed upon them, not that a person choosing undignified behavior ought to be a crime.

If dignity in this case truly means only indignities imposed, I can agree with that. However, I am again all too familiar with specific examples of people engaging in 100% consensual yet potentially undignified behavior where opponents try to make the case that such people are being “exploited,” taken advantage of without their knowledge, and thus the seemingly consensual undignified behavior is really being “imposed” upon them. I mentioned prostitution earlier, and that also serves as a perfect example here, too.

In some cases, of course, it’s true—your example of wage slavery is a good example: Circumstances that ought not exist force people to “willingly” subject themselves to wage slavery. I suppose what we need to strive for is a society in which people’s dignity is protected, both in cases where indignity is obviously (e.g., chattel slavery) or subtly (e.g., wage slavery) imposed upon them, but that people understand that claims of consent by the actual party in question are an immediate end to the argument.
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: Menno's Grand Plan Finally Unveiled
« Reply #54 on: March 17, 2008, 08:15 PM NHFT »

everybody wants some sort of nice objective standard by which they can write down complicated human interactions in a couple of sentences, "do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?" you better wake up, man, cause if you love freedom or not, that's the same sort of thinking that binds you to laws and legalism, and a desire to control. that's what it seems to me, anyway, that a whole bunch of people are going around talking about freedom, mainly because they've been on the losing end of the control game. but they can't yet see that you've got to move beyond the control game. it's the thinking. it's a circle, and you gotta break out. move beyond it. control is just an illusion, buddy, and when that illusion gives, the only response to try to keep it is violence. or else you can let go of the illusion of control and try to figure out a way of getting along without killing each other. that's all it is. all the rest is just a bunch of word games. and my friend russell's sitting in a jail cell, mainly cause someone thought about rules instead of thinking about a man who has a wife, and who has friends. rules, objective behavior, this and that over and above that and this, that's all that it gets you man. wake up and smell the doritos.

Wide awake.
I'm watching a viewpoint being 'forced' on society 'for its own good'. And that viewpoint is not localized but a global agenda.
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dalebert

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Re: Menno's Grand Plan Finally Unveiled
« Reply #55 on: March 17, 2008, 08:21 PM NHFT »

Caleb, you seem like one of the freest people I know. I know exactly what you mean about wanting nice clear objective things to measure everything by. Human interaction isn't that clear. We want nice clear lines but those lines don't exist. When we fabricate them, they're arbitrarily assigned by people who don't have any true authority or perfect judgment to do so. But those who insist we need a state, are the ones who are absolutely addicted to this notion of having those clear lines, despite the reality that they're a fantasy. They'll cook up this notion of what makes someone an authority so they can get what they crave.
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Caleb

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Re: Menno's Grand Plan Finally Unveiled
« Reply #56 on: March 17, 2008, 09:37 PM NHFT »

thanks for the compliment, Dale.  :) but I only wish i was half as free as the man sitting in the Westmoreland jail tonight. He really is my inspiration, for as much of a hard time as I give him.

i really do feel differently, though. i think this move out here has been good for me; clearing my head, coming to grips with stuff. i don't think people realize just how completely hard on myself i have been my whole life. for probably the first time in my life, i feel like me.
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Lloyd Danforth

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Re: Menno's Grand Plan Finally Unveiled
« Reply #57 on: March 18, 2008, 08:15 AM NHFT »

Well.  That must suck!
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srqrebel

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Re: Menno's Grand Plan Finally Unveiled
« Reply #58 on: March 18, 2008, 02:26 PM NHFT »

This is odd... on Sunday night, I had further responded on this thread to one of Caleb's posts regarding the "V for Voluntary Services" approach.  Now, both Caleb's post and my response are missing.

Caleb?  Know anything about this? :P

Not that is a big deal.  It was pretty much a deviation from the subject of the thread, anyway, and relatively unimportant.  It is just a bit unsettling that an entire portion of a conversation disappeared without explanation, including my own comments.
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dalebert

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Re: Menno's Grand Plan Finally Unveiled
« Reply #59 on: March 18, 2008, 02:59 PM NHFT »

Denis deleted them.
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