The power of the individual in mass modern society mostly consists in the ability to say NO — and perhaps in being prepared to accept consequences.
Consequences may include lowered standard of living, curtailment of advancement, physical relocation, social ostracism, overt state repression, abandonment of citizenship, and torture and death.
People who say NO often discover the joy of exercising freedom, and the sometimes surprising lack of immediate direct proportional consequence for standing out and speaking up. This is especially true if resistance has foundation in genuine social relationships. [See The Power of Habit for an enthralling account of how and why Rosa Parks managed to spark a revolution.]
States tolerate dissent only to the extent that the recalcitrance is seen as no real threat to state agenda. A standard ploy, especially in sophisticated “democracies,” is to regard dissent as ephemeral steam blowoff and to make sure that it gets mimimal reporting. Especially in the state’s own “statistics.”
Assemblies of the powerless may fragment as some subset of the powerless attempt to exercise unwarranted power within the assembly itself, in the absence of any other suitable social venue. Often these would-be power-mongers discover that their fallback power reduces to exit from the assembly. Unless an alternative faction can be established, the exiting individual thus opts for self-isolation. Standards of honesty and consistency would suggest that showboaters not continue to lurk after doing their best to foster schism with noisy exit.
A handful of individuals have left Brock on emotional grounds. Their chief indicators seem to be disgusting and nauseating. These words do not derive from the sphere of reason and argument. I’m all for emotion, and intensely scrutinize professions of love for civility and rationality for those all-too-inevitable tentacles of repression.
The only thing that pains me is to see some larger set of Brockers start to think that a minor rupture over a smidgen of Brock content says anything about Brock. Or to doubt the competence of information seekers to assess for themselves the data they sift through. Or to wonder whether Brock could or should be anything other than a voluntary assembly of autonomous free individuals. Or to suppose that most untoward postings or comments should be met with anything but silence. Unless something is really awry, the best counteraction is absolute nonreaction — let detritus quickly be enveloped in the ever-accreting verbal silt.
In the interests of balance — which is what pursuit of dialectic is all about — I am far more concerned about hearing from Joe Smith who has paused into silence than about looking in the rearview mirror at two or three who chose to blast off with fireworks.
@bankei, in the prior thread on extremism you brought up Limbaugh twice, even if you were referring to limbo this last time.
And please do, tell us about your circumstances. Have you renounced or done OVDI? What country do you live in? Are you even an expat?
@CH, Bankei, I did bring up Limbaugh in response to Bankei’s illogical juxtaposition of being Limbaugh-like yet having no one take us serious. I responded with LOL comment that Limbaugh is very effective with 25,000,000 listeners per week. He seems pretty effective to me–so effective that those with Limbaugh derangement syndrome believe that dropping his name into a conversation can taint your opponents irreparably. Hope that clarifies things. Tip: Use permalinks (i.e., the date stamp on comments) in order to help readers find the comments you’re referring to. Cheers.
My circumstances are exactly that – my circumstances. This discussion should proceed from the substance of ideas, not speculation on persons.
As for Limbaugh, numbers are no indication of seriousness, much less influence. As Mark Twain remarked, no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the public. Viva Limbaugh.
And, newsflash from outside the Limbaugh bubble: yes, attributing any sort of seriousness to Rush Limbaugh does decrease your cred.
“so effective that those with Limbaugh derangement syndrome believe that
dropping his name into a conversation can taint your opponents
I picked up on that attitude up too, as if associating IBS with Limbaugh somehow makes it “extremist” and insufficiently “moderate”, or dare I say even “unfair”, bordering on “not-american-values”. The left have been been undergoing continual programming to turn off their brains at the mention of the word “Limbaugh”. I would love to hear what Bankei has to say about right wing dog whistles, I just wish he would tip his hand and reveal his agenda. My guess is that he is (or at least was) an Obama supporter, but in light of what FATCA and FBAR have taught him he is ashamed to admit it.
@Bankei Please take more care. I said that people take Limbaugh seriously and hence he is effective. So effective as I said, that people on the left have Rush Limbaugh derangement syndrome. I take Limbaugh seriously though, because he is the drive behind talk radio. I once did an analysis of it from a media perspective and determined that anyone who can keep a modern audience together for three hours without the use of images must have mastered the gift of rhetoric. Whether you agree with Limbaugh or not, you will never be able to deal with him as phenomenon until you explain how he manages to keep his audience together for three hours per day. I think it is that people love to hear him because he presents a coherent world view that is appealing to his audience, and makes them feel good about themselves while explaining what is wrong with the world. Bankei’s view is knee-jerk and fails to appreciate or explain Limbaugh’s power.
Petros, your description of Limbaugh’s recipe is spot on. Add to that mix that they no longer have to do any critical thinking themselves, ie deal with nuances, grey areas, spot inconsistencies, and evolve.
What detracts from this comment of yours – as with so many others – is your need to tack on a personal insult.
Bankei, the voyeur, chooses to soak up information written by angry people suffering at the hands of an unjust and illegitimate government. But he complains because there is too much hyperbole. He then declines to share his personal experiences in relation to US persons living abroad and even refuses to state whether he is or ever has been a US expat.
He wants this site to be a source of raw information for him to peruse without having to sift through the anguish and anger that expat muppets are experiencing. It looks to me like he really doesn’t care, just like the other members of the ruling class, who are concerned that there might someday be a backlash to their idiotic policies.
As far as his Limbaugh hit goes, Bankei has only managed to insult any readers who are members of Limbaugh’s audience. He hasn’t come up with any facts or examples, just left wing echo chamber muzak about how horrible Limbaugh is and how stupid his audience is. Another indication that we are dealing with an elitist here. Again, all he wants is the details about what the government is really doing, but please skip the “hyperbole” because he thinks he already really knows what the government is up to and what is good for us muppets.
I personally found the entire Sandra Fluke affair quite illuminating. Bankei just can’t understand why those Limbaugh followers who “no longer have to do any critical thinking themselves, ie deal with nuances, grey areas, spot inconsistencies, and evolve” can’t just evolve to accept that they must pay citizenship based income taxes in order to finance “a womens right to contraception”.
And for you lefties out there like Bankei, Obamacare is also closely related to FATCA (HIRE act) which was passed right at he same time that Obama and the Democrat controlled Senate and House were fighting desperately to find “funding” for Obamacare. The Obama/Reid/Pelosi trio played all their cards to get this thing passed, and squeezing money out of expats was one way they planned to finance it from the beginning. So one could reasonably expect that as Obamacare goes more and more over budget than they will come back to the expat community and want more.
Confederate, go for a walk and calm down.
@ confederate: Hey, they keep telling me to take a few weeks off too. Mopsick even called for my head, since I was commenting like a “raving moron”.
But don’t worry, as far as I can tell Bankei is a genuine expat. Thus, he seems to come to his views honestly.
@ Bankei, ConfederateH is correct. You chaffed at my insult (calling your asssessment of Rush “knee-jerk” and shows a lack of “appreciation for Limbaugh’s power”–hard hitting insults eh?) but in the same breath you insulted a very large group of people, the entire Rush audience:
This is completely wrong. The analysis that I gave says that Rush’s message must be coherent. But it also must be reasonable. This is unlike most of the incoherent message of the legacy media (which according to Neil Postman can be reduced to this: “Buy the products we are advertising”), and we have blithering examples of ignorance in the general population of people who have no clue about critical thinking, not least of all the majority of graduates from universities–that great bastion of the left is failing to provide a decent education and critical thinking skills to their clients.
I won’t hide a Rush connection; it would be easy enough to connect me to it, as I have written for the American Thinker many of whose readers and writers are Rush fans, and Limbaugh is also a reader of AT. Many of its writers have PhD’s (e.g., it’s editor Thomas Lifson) in their fields too; so we don’t really need to put up with this sort of accusation of having thrown our brains away: we have credentials that those on the left recognize–PhDs from leading left-wing universities. We might have more trouble defending ourselves to grassroots libertarians and conservatives, who often question the merits of academic credentials (not without good reason).
Signed, your beloved un-evolved administrator
No chaffing here friend. I would point out that your comment seeks to attack the writer. My characterization of Limbaughs legions merely echoes what Rush himself calls his followers. Dittoheads.
@Bankei, the expression “dittos” was a shortened form for people who call in who would spend too much time expressing their thanks and appreciation. So they began to say, “dittos” to mean, “love your show”. It is not connected with throwing away critical thinking and letting Rush do it for you (except by the detractors of the program)
Now as for “attacking”the writer, meaning you, I merely pointed out that your response is “knee-jerk” and unappreciative of Limbaugh. It doesn’t require profound analysis to come up with and is merely a repetition of the other Limbaugh detractors out there. Why you felt that you thought it would be an example of critical thinking to drop Limbaugh into this conversation is not really clear. Nobody here is actually espousing views that would agree with him; as ConfederateH said, some of us are Ron Paul fans, and that is not compatible at all with Rush. Also, I have come to despise the doctrine of American exceptionalism, a favorite of Rush’s, except as a historic relic of a constitutional republic that has now given way to a Tax and Police State.
When Rush renounces his US citizenship and moves himself, his wife, his cat, and his wealth to another country, then I think we’d have an ally. But for now, Rush is simply an effective media figure with a large audience–but as an opponent of high taxation and the Obama administration, he could be for us the enemy of our enemy.