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The section where in we start[edit]

Are these Memeshock guys affiliated with neo-Nazis? I'm sort of thinking they are. DickTurpis 05:14, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

No, no, the far more mundane ideology that begins with "neo" -well that combined with some ideas on how to use left-wing tactics in reverse. -----Johanan Raatz, MemeShock director
(EC) Yes, yes. I'm utterly convinced that these Memshockers are akin to the Wehrmacht. Gooniepunk2010 Oi! Oi! Oi! 06:33, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I never in my life thought I'd actually see someone who read 1984 and went, "there are some great ideas here!" Wow. I feel like I've seen everything now. Fedhaji (Talk) 06:30, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
He means neo-conservative and "framing the issue", a hard core right wing tactic mastered by his hero, Karl Rove and his daily morning "talking points" fax. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:31, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Does he have any ethical standards at all? -- JArneal 06:35, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Nah, he's got a little black heart like Dick Cheney, which pumps oil, not blood. Lord of the Goons The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 06:37, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
You assume too much Goonie, I do have ethical standards it is just I am something of a utilitarian. See there are a hierarchy of values and lower values in that hierarchy can be broken for the sake of ones higher up on the chain. And there are things in today's political setting that are worth fighting for like that. --Johanan Raatz
So you have ethical standards, you just find it politically expedient to ignore them? Hierarchy, my ass. You have standards or you don't. Corry 07:01, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
(EC) Utilitarianism is a pile of bunk. It fails to draw a proper line between suffering caused by nature and suffering caused by specific human actions. It also opens a can of worms as to what ends justify what means. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:02, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
The ethical standards are:"ME! ME! ME! ME! ..." I am eating Toast& honeychat 07:03, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Toast, overview the group. You'll see I'm more of a culture warrior than a class warrior. --Johanan Raatz
I've been to your "group". T'other day I stepped in some dogshit: that was less distasteful. I am eating Toast& honeychat 07:52, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Do the ends always justify the means, Mr. Raatz? You seldom hear people argue that point of view these days.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 07:04, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
No, Tom, if the means cause more damage than the ends then it would not be morally permissible to use them. Now granted not doing spin to the degree of a science does seem to be highup on the list, but there are important issues which believe it or not are higher still.--Johanan Raatz
But how can we believe you on that point, or any other, if you consider honesty and candor to be points worth breaking? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:54, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
ListenerX, if I was bullshitting you right now it would be a lot more complicated and would likely use strange words. I do enjoy rational debate, it's just that I have become cynical with the political process. Reason does not drive politics forwards anymore, and so there is increasingly little reason to use it to try to convince a majority of the people. One on one though, I'll talk with your rationally. --Johanan Raatz
You think that "reason" and "politics" ever belonged in the same sentence? Please to remove your head from the clouds.
That aside, the questions of rationality and honesty are fairly separate. One can talk in stupid mind-numbing slogans and soundbites, if that be required of a politician, and still be borderline honest. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 08:17, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Hm, so you get to decide to do something wrong if you think the end result will be of a greater good. Very basic utilitarianism, I guess, shunned by almost everyone. You and Peter Singer need to have lunch.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 08:01, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Raatz, if I had a choice between a world in which discussion is somewhat honest and reasonable, that people can freely talk about ideas with some element of clarity (without being polluted by you and your talking point manipulation), in which politicians weren't committed to incessantly lying to the populace, and another world in which the opposite was true but people were happier, I'd choose the first. 10 times out of fucking 10. You see, things like honesty, clarity, reasonableness, and not being constantly lied to are valued more than anything a vague and crude metric of "utility" or the "greater good" can provide. I kinda anticipate some kind of ticking-time bomb style argument, you know, "if you could make everyone as happy as can be for all eternity, end all poverty, war and injustice and so on by supporting the principles of memeshock, would you support it", but I'll see if it's made before I reply. Bil08 16:04, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
With a democratic government, lying is part of a politician's job description: the liars dupe more voters and get elected. However, the alternative to having lying politicians (viz., removing the dupes' right to vote) is generally considered to be an inferior solution. It is just a matter of making things the best they can be. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:35, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Look Bill, if I had a choice I would also live in the latter world. Unfortunately I don't have that choice. As such I should do the best with what I have, and try to out-propagandize my opposition. It only makes sense from a logistic standpoint. If I don't engage in propaganda then DailyKos wins the day with their MemeTank propaganda. --Johanan Raatz

The section where in we tried to get back on topic[edit]

Thanks for the compliments on the WIGO guys. There is plenty of crazy to go round! "Think of it like this:img those darn Jews intellectuals liberals do not accept our arguments so it's ok to lie to them."
He is too crazy-ass delusional even for CPimg and most of his stuff is getting reverted. So sad! I wanted to see him as sysop.
Memeshock is actually quite a bit like the Andy Bible. The underlying motivation is probably the same: being humiliated in argument after argument by online liberals (EC: as you just saw him admit). The conclusion is inevitable: the English language is liberal! We must remake it in our image! Hilarity ensues. WodewickWelease Wodewick! 08:14, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually it was in a reaction to people who don't listen to valid arguments. I wanted to counter the-in-one-ear-out-the-other thing.Don't think I'm just a "dumb conservative" who isn't able to think. --Johanan Raatz
Did it ever occur to you that people don't listen to your arguments because they are not valid? - π 09:12, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but on examination of my premises compared to their's it always boiled down to a few very simple problems, which they were obviously wrong on -as they were blatantly fallacious:
Relativism -either moral or epistemic. In this case if they are right then they are also wrong. If they get to existentially make up their own morality -then so do I, thus their argument is moot.
Non-Essentialism -the idea that nothing is a definite objective "something." Any time I tried to go into detail and argue that things do have a natural "essence" or "are something" they would insist that I wasn't "nuanced" enough. I could continue this process n-steps and no matter how much nuance I accounted for it just wasn't good enough for them.
Non-Sequiters -insisting that opposition to policy X is racist/sexist/homophobic even if the reasons for it had nothing to do with racism/sexism/homophobia.
These things keep coming up over and over again to the point were I finally said screw it. BTW many of my arguments use left-wing premises to argue to right-wing conclusions -this should tell you where the logical fallacies are largely located.
Oh well, perhaps I've spent too much time in a college setting. The people there are extreme as crazy. Before college on the standard 2-d political graph I was 6.5 Right and -.5 Libertarian afterwards I became significantly more moderate 4 Right, but 6.2 Authoritarian. Damn hippies and Hate-America people. --Johanan Raatz
(EC) You are aware that it is a logical fallacy itself to conclude "the person I am arguing against is using logical fallacies, therefore they are wrong and I am right"? - π 10:31, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Well I will not say that you are automatically wrong in a one-on-one discussion. It is just that I have learned that a large portion of the populace thinks like this or is affected by this -even if they don't fully realize it. This is why I say I am all fine with honest debate in an honest setting. It's just 9 times out of 10 that is not what I see in what is called "public debate" anymore. Screw "public debate" it's a joke.--Johanan Raatz
Damn Godwin's Law - it stops so much! I am eating Toast& honeychat 10:29, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
(EC) Not if it's a reasonable comparison. People like you end up murdering dissidents. I know that sounds rethorical but it's not, I am serious. You may not have reached that conclusion by yourself (and obviously you aren't going to admit it right here anyway) but at the end of the day that sort of ideology leads to people being thrown out of helicopters. After all, you know you are right. You already concluded some people have no mind. From there it's a small step to soulless people. So to put it concisely, mindless, soulless people that refuse to acknowledge the overwhelming truth. Why not silence them?
And the nuttiest part is that you are basing your perfectly rational ideology on religion. Wah. Pietrow 11:24, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
"You think that "reason" and "politics" ever belonged in the same sentence? Please to remove your head from the clouds."
Exactly! That's why I've given up my wooly-headed idealism and am resorting to the steamroller approach.--Johanan Raatz
Speaking of non sequiturs: moral relativism (in its most common and plausible formulations) does not entitle anyone to simply make up their own moral framework. It's generally understood that moral relativism is the claim that what's morally good is relative to a cultural context. So, if classical Greek culture valued the Aristotelian virtues, then what's good for a classical Greek is to live by those virtues. If contemporary American culture values a different set of virtues, then what's good for a contemporary American is to live by this second set of virtues (replace the virtues with a utilitarian calculus or a network of obligations and entitlements as appropriate). Relativism, so understood, doesn't give anyone the ability to arbitrarily adopt any particular moral framework. Rather, the operative framework is adopted as a convention by the relevant culture. Relativism is typically paired with some kind of claim about the incommensurability of distinct frameworks, but I don't know that it's essential to do so. As it happens, I think moral relativism is false, but it doesn't entail that anything goes in the moral realm.TallMan 13:08, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
"moral relativism (in its most common and plausible formulations) does not entitle anyone to simply make up their own moral framework."
"It's generally understood that moral relativism is the claim that what's morally good is relative to a cultural context."
That's not what I've seen them do though most of the time. If they REALLY did that then they would be opposed to abortion, in favor of capitalism, and in favor of everything the counterculture is not.
"Relativism, so understood, doesn't give anyone the ability to arbitrarily adopt any particular moral framework."
That is not what is suggested by existentialism.--Johanan Raatz
So, one, you argue that anyone that "thinks" would agree with your prejudices, and two, you don't understand existentialism. Please, this is fun, keep exposing your complete lack of understanding beyond "what I think must be right so it surely must be logical to think it". ħumanUser talk:Human 06:15, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Wodewick, "As far as I can tell, nothing Johanan has said here would be seen as heretical by mainstream neocon intellectuals, except of course that he is being far too truthful about his beliefs in front of sheeple like us."
The reason I'm being truthful with you is that I figured you'd be smarter. RationalWiki doesn't represent most people and they are somewhat smarter -even though most of your guys political views are egregious. I kind of wanted you to understand where we come from so people wouldn't hate on Straussians all the time.
Human, existentialism is based on the idea that "existence precedes essence." The idea here being that we exist first without any natural "nature" or "logos" and that these things are simply human constructs that we invent that we can reinvent or deconstruct at will. Just look at much of what is called "social science" today, you can't tell me this attitude is not highly pervasive. --Johanan Raatz
Existentialism neither entails nor is entailed by relativism (AFAIK, at least; an argument is needed to establish entailment). It's true that existentialsts think existence precedes essence, but this is not a claim that there is no such thing as essence. Rather, it's the claim that 1) the world doesn't provide a definitive answer to the question "what is it to be a person?" in the same way it provides an answer to the question "what is it to be a gold atom?" and 2) as a result human nature is socially constituted. This doesn't preclude its being objective and certainly doesn't mean we can freely revise it. Money is socially constituted but nonetheless it has objective value within a social system. We can act collectively to change our monetary system, but no individual can do so individually.
Existentialism is also deader than disco. It was influential, to be sure, but you're not going to find many existentialists around these days. To quote the SEP: "As a cultural movement, existentialism belongs to the past." The influence of existentialism these days is fairly limited; I'm mainly familiar with its influence on the Pittsburgh pragmatist school, which is itself fairly insignificant and is largely comfortable with the idea that there exists such a thing as human nature.
Finally, existentialism is a red herring. My remarks were about relativism and your mistaken interpretation of that position. As it happens, I think moral relativism is false; that doesn't excuse misrepresentations of the view. Please don't change the subject.TallMan 19:33, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

The section wherein Wodewick tries mockery[edit]

(undent) Summary: Johanan knows he is very very smart, therefore anyone who disagrees with him must be very very dumb. He said it himself: his argument's valid, so if they don't accept it that must mean they're not listening. It's just like how Andy knows he's so conservative: anyone who disagrees with him could hardly be a real conservative, could they? Someone who would argue with his ideas is surely not worth arguing with. The logic is airtight! GODSPEED! WodewickWelease Wodewick! 12:14, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Mr. Raatz, I would like to see some form of discussion between you and another person here, on any topic of your choice, one-on-one, and without any Newspeak, MemeShock, or other below-the-belt strategies. I would like to see for myself the fundamental blocks in thinking that prevent your opponent from being convinced by your arguments. Johann 12:45, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
See here's the thing you don't get Wodewick. I'm frequently today use left-wing premises to argue for right-wing ends. If you don't like the conclusion all you have to do is change premises -although whenever I do this changing premises is usually the last thing on the left-wingers mind. It's not that they disagree with me, I have plenty of other neocon friends I disagree with on all kinds of stuff but still respect their opinions it's that I don't have much tolerance of those who wont accept their own contradictions.
As an example let me point out that the left LOVES moral relativism that is UNTIL that premise is co-opted by a right-winger:
Then they scream and howl. Simple lesson, if you don't want to be have people try to convince you through "extra-rational" means stop thinking extrarationally! I don't mind disagreement I just mind irrational disagreement. (well I don't know what you are like personally in this regard, but that is largely what I encounter)--Johanan Raatz
The only problem with your 'example' is that, as far as I can see, it has very little to do with 'moral relativism' and more about getting the details of the fictional Star Wars universe wrong in order to argue that following the Galactic Empire is the right thing to do. For example, he states that the Galactic Senate is slow to act, with the Chancellor having little real power, and even the heroes of the piece recognise that it simply doesn't work. What he leaves out is that we are left with that impression because we are seeing the Galactic Senate through the eyes of people who are being manipulated by one of the villians, who has a vested interest in making it seem that way. In addition, when this villian successfully manages to manipulate events to get himself elected Chancellor, he categorically disproves that idea by also managing to quickly declare war, declare martial law, and, in the end, totally disband the Republic and get himself declared Emperor. Not bad for a guy who, according to this piece, has 'little real power'. He also says that Jedi can only get their power over the Force through a genetic inheritance. This is wrong. This is the way that Anakin Skywalker got his sensitivity to the Force, mosty due to his father seemingly being the Force itself. It is not, however, made clear that this is the ONLY way of becoming Force Sensitive - whilst it is made clear that it is connected with midi-chlorians in the blood, the Force is supposed to permeate all living things, so it is quite possible that all living things have midi-chlorians, so it could very well be simply a matter of encouraging midi-chlorian growth.
To go back to your examples that are 'blatently fallacious', they aren't.
Relativism -either moral or epistemic. In this case if they are right then they are also wrong. If they get to existentially make up their own morality -then so do I, thus their argument is moot. Wrong. If you are both making up your own subjective morality, this proves that morality is subjective. It is YOUR point that is blatently fallacious.
Non-Essentialism -the idea that nothing is a definite objective "something." Any time I tried to go into detail and argue that things do have a natural "essence" or "are something" they would insist that I wasn't "nuanced" enough. I could continue this process n-steps and no matter how much nuance I accounted for it just wasn't good enough for them. There are things that are definite objective somethings. There are other things that aren't. Depending on precisely what examples you were arguing about, you could be correct - but this does not make all such arguments 'blatently fallacious'.
Non-Sequiters -insisting that opposition to policy X is racist/sexist/homophobic even if the reasons for it had nothing to do with racism/sexism/homophobia. Sorry, racism and sexism only require actions to have the effect of discriminating against particular races or genders, regardless of the motives behind them. If, by 'homophobia', you actually mean 'discrimination due to sexuality', then the same applies. If you actually mean 'homophobia', then you are correct, because homophobia is actually the fear of homosexuals or homosexuality. However, this word is very often misused to mean 'discrimination due to sexuality', so it is quite possible that the other person/people were meaning this, even if you weren't. 14:43, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
The left are all moral relativists? What decade are you in Raatz? The days of confused post-marxists trying to find something on which to peg their anti-globalization, pro-third world dictatorship rhetoric are gone. Nowadays the left-wingers are those mad absolutists who think that human rights are so important you can't torture a bunch of people to get information on...something. They're those fiery, uncompromising anti-religious bigots who won't allow even one measly violation of the first amendment. They're the reality based community, who don't understand that reality is whatever we want it to be. Bil08 16:13, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Your modern-day pinko supports the First Amendment right up until the point at which one of his opponents squawks too loudly, at which time he starts yakking on about "hate speech" leading to "hate crimes," hate speech being roughly defined as dissent from the idea that Systemic Oppression must be dismantled at all speed. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:53, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Indeed? Can you cite an example of hate speech being defined as opposition to communist revolution? WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:43, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
This essay outlines the policy. Some of the stuff that came out in the flap over the University of Delaware's residence hall diversity training program exhibits the practice by latter-day adherents of identity politics. For example, there were claims that not subscribing to collectivism and opposing the motto "carpe diem" are "racist." There were also claims that "non-racist" is a "non-term" and that one must instead be "anti-racist," which is not used in the familiar sense, but instead as a Newspeak term involving "realizing that systemic oppression exists in society" and that it should be "dismantled." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:09, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure that a 45-year-old essay by a minor academic can be described as a "policy." Marcuse isn't particularly influential in academia (at least not recently; I gather he was a bigger force back in the 60s). In my experience, the closest thing you'll find to someone like Marcuse these days is perhaps Richard Rorty, and he's 1) dead, 2) also not particular influential outside of a fairly small group, and 3) not the sort to set policy for anyone, even disregarding 1) above.TallMan 23:37, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
The essay was cited as the first formulation of this idea of a kind of "free speech" that does not extend to your political opponents, with no claim that the essay directly influenced similar policies later. Although I understand that Prof. Marcuse was popular with the yippies, who later went into academia in large numbers and filled entire new radical departments. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:42, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
(undent) I don't know that that's a fair reading of Marcuse. I take it the point of the article in question is that 1) the democratic political system can be just as repressive as authoritarian systems (i.e. democracy does not, in and of itself, ensure freedom) and that 2) the liberal-democratic ideal of tolerance does not extend to would-be oppressors. Marcuse's basically concerned with this question: ought we tolerate intolerance? He answers in the negative, and goes on to say that there's nothing inconsistent in answering in this way. Full disclosure: I haven't read the article in question, and prior to this moment I have talked about Marcuse precisely once, many years ago, as an undergraduate. So this summary comes secondhand from that conversation. I don't know enough history to know whether or not Marcuse's students went on to fill whole departments, but I know I've never encountered one. A brief glance at the Philosophy Family Tree suggests he didn't have many students who went on to become philosophers, though as far as I know English departments could be dripping with Marcuse scholars.TallMan 05:35, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Except that is not what Prof. Marcuse says. He uses his own definition of "intolerant" that is synonymous with "right-wing," and includes under its banner several political positions that have nothing to do with intolerance. Also, there is a distinction between being intolerant of a certain viewpoint and censoring any airing of it; Prof. Marcuse uses the spectre of cultural hegemony in an attempt to justify the latter. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:56, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure where you're getting that. Marcuse is reacting to fascism (of the Italian and Spanish varieties) and Nazism, which he identifies as "the Right." He doesn't offer an explicit definition of "intolerant" at all, and the only organizations he identifies as right-wing are out-and-out fascists, Nazis, and other authoritarians. I think you're reading the essay with a contemporary understanding of what constitutes "the Right" in mind, which is inappropriate, since that's not what Marcuse was talking about.TallMan (talk) 13:51, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Nazis? Prof. Marcuse was getting in a snit over the Green Berets ("special forces," as he called them) and "propaganda" (a.k.a, kitsch) that failed to serve the communist program. And "the Right" was a term applied, in those days, to figures such as William F. Buckley, Jr. and Barry Goldwater as well as the fascist crew. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:53, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Again, where do you see that?TallMan (talk) 01:26, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
In the essay, where it says special forces. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:26, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Dear John, I'm not going to argue with you about your moral philosophy, since lots of others are already having a heyday with it. Instead, I'm going to challenge your happy illusion that you're some kind of Light-Yagami-style utilitarian genius and explain to you why you're as dumb as a brick.
First off, in order for this scheme of yours to work, you'd have to get the people you disagree with to use the terms you've come up with themselves - e.g.,
Why would I go after those people? Swing voters aren't found in groups like yours. Obviously this is useless for people who already believe strongly one way, so it would make no sense to go after that group. --Johanan Raatz
they'd have to refer to themselves as "anti-fetal rights extremists", "peace terrorists" or whatever. See that happening anytime soon? Anybody would immediately notice the strong normative connotations inherent in those descriptions and reject them if they don't match their original feelings about the subject. I'll give you an obvious example: consider organized groups exacting violence against an authority they don't consider legitimate. Depending on whether you identify yourself with a specific group like that (or its aims in general) or not will determine whether you refer to them as "terrorists" or "freedom fighters". My guess is that the members of Al-Quaeda won't call themselves terrorists, killers, violent extremists or whatever, but rather use terms like "holy warrior" or "martyr", which - at least for them - have positive connotations. So if you get all of those nice new words out there, the only ones who will latch onto them will be people who already share your ideology (or not - if even the kooks at CP think those terms are silly, you've got a real problem in your PR work). The problem with an echo chamber is exactly that you're shutting yourself off from dialogue with the world outside your group, hence making persuasion or subtle manipulation impossible.
Next, I feel uneasy about giving you any advice, but since your plan is pure wishful thinking anyway, I might as well tell you this: for a scheme like yours to have even a tiny chance of success, it would necessarily have to be done in clandestine way. Instead, you're setting up a group on facebook and publishing your nonsense in one of the most public places the net has to offer. If people see one of your new terms on a blog or whereever, they'll probably be unfamiliar with it and google it. I did just that, and guess what topped the search results in most cases?
Right, your group's website telling the whole world how you'll manipulate them.
There are other adjunct groups not open to the public. Anyway DailyKos's MemeTank (like MemeShock but left-wing) is open to the public plain as day, yet I've still seen some of their memes take off. People don't look at that stuff much, and when they do they don't often remember this or that detail that came from it. --Johanan Raatz
Anyway, godspeed and please keep it up, you could make a very valuable addition to the hilarious entertainment troupe over at CP. Röstigraben 15:39, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Dear John, you mentioned that the goal you've set yourself is to change the way people think about issues by making your new terms a central part of the linguistic repertoire they use to formulate and express their opinions. If you don't manage to get your opponents to accept those terms, their thinking won't be affected. And people who aren't already firmly committed to one side of these arguments are simply not going to accept language and descriptions which displays a strong ideological bias, either. There's also the problem that overusing your newspeak will result in texts that will fail to impress anyone simply because they're unreadable gibberish. I've read your "editorial" at the UWM post, and you're just rambling on and on about an opinion that could be summarized in a few sentences ("Abortion is wrong because a right to life should be granted to all human beings regardless of age or whether they're even born yet. People who deny those rights to fetuses do so because of selfishness. The end."), trying to cram as many of your terms into that piece as possible. I can't wait for your debate with Andy on "conciseness".
Oh, and replying in one separate paragraph would have avoided screwing up the formatting of this page and made replying to you in turn much easier. Röstigraben 22:12, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Do not be so sure about grammatical stupidity not catching on; person-first language has caught on and now even its critics are required to use it in certain journals. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 22:18, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I'll jump on the "dumb as a brick" caravan too, though for different reasons. Your "engineered language using a linguistic deep structure algorithm" really has little to do with linguistics, absolutely nothing to do with "deep structure", and seems to be an algorithm only in a very loose sense. You yourself admitted that "engineered language" is misleading. That leaves us with "using a". Your justification using "logic" on facebook seems to have impressed your innumerate groupies, but the thing is basically incoherent rambling, taking paragraphs to state the obvious, and concluding nothing from it. "You claim too to have found an way to apply to apply the Einstein Field Equations to economics"
Well yes, you treat democracy as a space-time tensor and corporate-political power as the stress-energy-momentum tensor. By placing the corporate and political power in the right places you can warp the democracy to suit whatever the ideal metric you want.
That was just an analogy though. Let me give you some real world example:
Bush wisely leveraged corporate power on the democracy because he anticipated that Americans at home would oppose democracy in the middle-east -thereby leading to a democratic consensus contradicting democracy. To correct this contradiction he leveraged the corporate power (the stress energy or momentum) of Halliburton, Blackwater et al on the democracy. Very simple concept. --Johanan Raatz
Very simple concept indeed -- it's the profound observation that by changing one thing we can cause another to change. I found your editorial to be pretty interesting, but any analogy with relativity is specious. I don't see that the field equations serve the analogy any better than F=ma would, aside from making you appear oh-so-terribly clever. --Retwa 20:56, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
If you're going to apply Einstein's work to economics, you're going to have to do a hell of lot more than that. What does it mean to "treat democracy as a space-time tensor?" What values are you using for democracy? What are the units? Bush supposedly used corporate power in Iraq; how much did he use and how did this "warp the democracy?" What does that even mean? As it stands, it looks like all you're doing is using the prestige of science to cover your bullshit.TallMan 21:32, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I hope you'll show us, because this promises to be a barrel of laughs as well. For all your philosophical bluster and name-dropping, I don't think you're nearly as smart as you seem to think you are. --Retwa 16:43, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Well none of the ideas here are very difficult. The idea with MemeShock is that 1.) language is indirectly circular and 2.) language changes thought. Not rocket science. --Johanan Raatz
I agree that none of the ideas are very difficult. That makes it all the more mysterious that you gave your efforts a fancy-sounding title (one which makes no sense at all), and tried to write a justification of it using logic (which also makes no sense at all). If you want to make up silly words that's your own business, but trying to dress it up like this just looks ridiculous. --Retwa 21:38, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
jfraatz, for somebody making grandiose claims about linguistics (using technical terms like "deep structure" and "algorithm" incorrectly), it's remarkable how illiterate you are. If you're going to talk about grammar and word usage, you might try learning a little about them! --Fawlty
I'm amused by the fact that the entry on "memeplex theory" gets the claims about propositional logic wrong. There's a lot of issues, but the one that jumps out at me is the claim that is equivalent to , and that you can translate "PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY is a RECOGNIZED SEXUAL LIABILITY unless you are a FEGEIST" as . Both claims would lose points in any logic class I've taught (or taken). The predicative use of "is" requires a predicate logic to translate properly, and "A unless B" typically translates to .TallMan 18:24, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the formatting. I didn't know RW supported LaTeX stuff.TallMan 18:56, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
You got it backward, though - is equivalent to ...— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
I don't think I made that claim. Raatz makes that claim in the linked article, which is one of the mistakes I was highlighting. Also, the pedant/logician in me feels obliged to point out that the equivalence only holds for material conditionals, and that the English conditional isn't a material conditional.TallMan 05:37, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Ah, my mistake. I missed where you attributed it to Raatz. Unrelated question - do you prefer the fishhook or something else for the English conditional? Unemployed philosopher 23:48, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't know that I have a preference. I actually think we should use the material conditional in English because I like truth-functional operators. I'm pretty sure, though, that there is no single "English conditional." Some conditionals are strong conditionals, some are weak, and that's not even getting into the subjunctive and indicative counterfactual conditionals. But then I don't work in the semantics of the conditional, so I haven't kept up with the literature; my views might be years out of date.TallMan 00:24, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I just read the Memeplex Theory article, and I can only suggest that its author try taking a class in logic sometime. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:00, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
It looks like the lacuna in Mr. Raatz's education extends beyond logic. From what I've read, it doesn't look like Mr. Raatz knows much about linguistics, philosophy of mind, science, or really much of anything. The whole project looks to me to be predicated on a bunch of mistaken views about minds, language, and politics (and history of philosophy, insofar as Raatz is taking a Straussian line).TallMan 23:30, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Whoa, that's not true. I DO have interests outside of politics and I do happen to like philosophy of mind, and physics a great deal. Chalmers is my favorite philosopher when it comes to the mind/body problem BTW.--Johanan Raatz
Chalmers is a very smart man who is mistaken about just about everything. He disagrees with my characterization of him, of course, but what are you going to do? In any case, I didn't say you didn't have interests outside of politics; I said you didn't know much about these topics. Hopefully I can help out.TallMan 19:35, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Sanity intrudes[edit]

Is Leo Strauss the fellow who mistook Plato's Republic for a how-to manual in government? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:42, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Probably, yes. And also our friend whatsisname. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:13, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Just the opposite, in fact. Strauss thought that the texts of the classical philosophers (esp. Plato) had two meanings, one hidden and one obvious. The obvious reading of the Republic is as a manual for governing the city-state, but Strauss thought this wasn't the true (esoteric) meaning of the dialogue. Rather, the dialogue is an examination of the nature of the city-state and the fundamental (and unsolvable) problems associated with political life. Strauss has, I think, the wrong view of Plato (which is not to say he's not interesting). The Straussians who followed him, on the other hand, are far less impressive. Strauss thought Plato hid the true meaning of his dialogues because he saw what happened to Socrates and wanted to avoid the same fate. When you examine the nature of the city-state, according to Strauss, you find out it's a house of cards; pointing this out to people gets you killed, so it's best to hide this truth. Strauss's followers seem to think that this esotericism is good in and of itself, and that the common people need to be kept in the dark regarding this truth, so they advocate deceptive practices in governance. Sort of like Mr. Raatz.TallMan 05:17, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes exactly. Think about it though, since existentialism sprung onto the scene nothing good has come from it. The idea that morality is relative while not true, appears true in the imminent sense. Once people realize the fact that it is not so imminent you end up with stuff like communism, nazism, the counterculture, political divisiveness and abortion. Society has gone downhill not up since this had been realized by the public mind. It's like telling everyone that there are no rules. What happens the next morning? Total anarchy. Johanan Raatz
I thunk about it, and essentialism makes no sense, sorry. Your blaming of all the 20th century's evils on existentialism is a bit lame. Communism and Nazism both depend on it? The "counterculture" was a good thing. Political diviseness is a good thing, it bespeaks a lively body politic. Oh, and abortion, sorry, I forgot that opposing any form of control over our bodies was part of your fascist agenda... ħumanUser talk:Human 05:38, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
"The "counterculture" was a good thing."
Then you are proving my point about moral relativism not being relative to culture but to people being able to individually make up morality as they go along. The counterculture was very destructive to Western values. The Freudo-Marxist intellectuals behind it (also called Critical Theorists) even stated this openly as their goal:
"Who will save us from Western civilization?" ~Georg Lukács
Then there is Herbert Marcuse who I could go on and on about.
None of this is secret, they were just as open about their subversive behavior as I am -only in the opposite direction.
Too much political divisiveness weakens cultural unity and breeds hate within a society. The cultural Marxists are excellent at manufacturing dissent where there was before perfectly happy people living next to each other.
As for fetal homicide, no it is not YOUR body that you are having control of here. It is SOMEONE ELSE'S body being murdered. And I'm getting sick and tired of filthy pieces of shit deciding to butcher their own kids because it is simply an inconvenience to them. I hated it when I first learned about when I was about two and I hate it now. Furthermore, none of the arguments I have seen in favor of it hold much water. Most of them are little more than ridiculous excuses. That said there are a few who argue it rationally -Peter Singer and Judith Jarvis Thompson come to mind- but even those have serious errors in logic in them.Johanan Raatz
Raatz, American Marxism exists only in your mind. Wait, what? The Marxists are in your mind! BOOGEDY BOOGEDY BOO! You can run but you can't hide. WodewickWelease Wodewick! 19:57, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Very funny, I see many of them on campus all the time. I've argued extensively with some of them even. They readily admit they are Marxists. Read Horowitz's book the ProFessors he surveys just a tidbit of this problem in great detail. Johanan Raatz
Very well put TallMan. Sort of ugly as it progresses, but then full of shiny curtains and fruit. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:21, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
I did not know that that meaning was hidden in the Republic. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:26, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Didn't Plato say the brainy ones should run the world, you know, brainy ones like Jfraudz? And our lovely college student genius Jfraudz thinks he is who Plato was talking about when he said the geniuses should tell us all how to live? ħumanUser talk:Human 05:38, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Puh. Anyone who really thinks that they are worthy of such a position needs a reality check. Sorry, Raatz, you're no Philosopher-King. You're hardly even a philosopher.-- JArneal 07:33, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Huh? No I'm farther down, I mediate between the philosopher-kings and the others. But you need that as well because the system is too much to manage for a few philosopher kings. I work for Bill Kristol and company. If you want to find some philosopher kings go talk to him. Johanan Raatz

These are gross distortions of what Jthing believes. From what I understand talking to him people haven't been bowled over by his amazing reasoning and arguments, jumping up to embrace his views. So he has decided that he just has to manipulate them into agreeing with him using memes, that will show all those liberals. - π 11:32, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
No, the trouble is that they assume self-contradictory premises from the start, such that truth or morality are relative, there is no such thing as objective knowledge only subjective perspectives etc. etc. Everything else flows from a few absurdities like these. Johanan Raatz
And your logical processes, which proceed from ends you desire backwards to premises you declaim, are somehow better? ħumanUser talk:Human 05:38, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I've actually very seldom heard anyone serious claim that everything is subjective or that all truth and morality are relative. Actually, now that I think about it I realize that while this is an exceedingly common claim from many conservatives (Andy Schlafly and Limbaugh in particular), they are virtually the only people I have ever heard say it. It's starting to seem like kind of a straw-man to me, and I will say with near-certainty that none of the serious liberal thinkers subscribe to it.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 05:48, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
(undent)Far from being a misrepresentation or distortion, it should be clear now that Jfraatz is textbook Straussian. People fall into Platonic political castes based on their temperament, most of these people are mindless, we need a secret cabal of intellectuals to guide authoritarian rulers in a wise way, for everyone else convenient and pacifying untruths are sufficient, etc. Fundamentally, he's an illiberal - he believes "the people" have no business governing themselves.
This is not Platonism at all, it is an infantile misreading of Platonism. And BTW Ace tried to convince me that neoconservatism is "a sound political philosophy that got raped by the religious right and creepy fucks like Cheney;" this is wrong, the neocon movement's illiberalism doesn't come from religion at all, it comes from the idea that there is a natural intellectual aristocracy that has an inborn right to usurp democratic outcomes by any means necessary. TallMan has a good interpretation here, I think.
If you think Johanan is misrepresenting neoconservatism pick up anything by Irving Kristol. Jfraatz's quoting him more or less verbatim throughout this thread, except he hasn't said the phrase "noble lie" yet. As for Johanan's prostitution of ethics, it takes much of its inspiration from Irving's son, Bill "Are You Ever Right?" Kristol). I haven't read Fukuyama yet so I can't judge that comparison. As far as I can tell, nothing Johanan has said here would be seen as heretical by mainstream neocon intellectuals, except of course that he is being far too truthful about his beliefs in front of sheeple like us.
In general, the thing that pisses me off the most is not how unethical Jfraatz is (who cares; his sociopathy shines through so clearly I doubt he could manipulate people into trusting him). Rather it's his idea that he can systematize and classify, well, the whole human race. People who think like this (e.g. Randians who divide us into "producers" and "parasites," or smug atheists who think there is a separate class of "brights") are generally massive douchebags. WodewickWelease Wodewick! 08:14, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Somebody called? More agnostic than atheist, me, and I tromp on smugness at sight, or at least sweep it under the rug of an earnest caring look when it sullies my own psyche... I've skimmed as much as I care to of this, nor do I propose to go searching through it again, but:
  • I hope this is not being claimed as anything new. Been going on since before Madison Ave got paved with gold. I recall the tobacco industry using the word "antismoker" a lot back in the nineteen%$#@ties, and my redneck brother-in-law swallowed that line right up to the guide on the end of the pole, and a bit beyond. Finally had to toss his sorry ass onto the floor after he called me an antismoker and a pacifist. I am a pacifist, but something about his attitude didn't seem right, needed straightening out.
  • Plato was a fucking pedant, a "schoolmaster" in the words of Eric Hoffer, and him trying to sell the idea of the philosopher king amounted to nothing more than saying schoolmasters should rule. Feh.
  • If this is to lead to effective attitude engineering, then the sheeple will need some motivation to embrace it, swallow it, and spit it out in their daily speech. A lot of them don't care much for the intelligentsia, and are smart enough to know when manipulation is coming their way. There are some cliffs over which we will not jump. Sprocket J Cogswell 15:55, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
If anything will save America from the neoconservative program it won't be that we're too smart. That's for sure. But it could quite possibly be that we're too anti-intellectual. Witness what happened on Conservapedia. User: We can fight the leftists with my new manipulative language program! It's genius! Andy: We don't need no steenken computers. All insights are God-given! WodewickWelease Wodewick! 19:59, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Look, originally way back I used to be much more idealist. I figured I could convince people if I could just explain things to them. Unfortunately that isn't how it works. The point being if you don't like elitism then you shouldn't make it so bloody easy. Johanan Raatz
Somehow I always miss the part where I invite someone to convince me or worse yet, direct my activity. Snark aside, I prefer to see the world as a marketplace, with government's best role being to keep the thugs and snake oil salesmen down to a dull roar. Recent editions <aah.W.+Cheney.choo!> of the US govt have not demonstrated competence in suppressing either foreign thugs or domestic purveyors of snake oil vapor.
My quick glimpse at Straussian notions leaves me wondering about who does the interpreting to bring out the hidden text. Go looking for patterns in any signal, noisy or not, and your human brain will find what it wants. Sprocket J Cogswell 20:49, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
There are a number of problems with Strauss's approach; that's one of them. Here are a few others: 1) how do you know there's an esoteric reading at all? 2) Given that there is an esoteric reading, how do you know it is what you say it is? 3) Why should we privilege the esoteric reading over the exoteric reading? I tend to think that Strauss himself has some interesting (wrong, but interesting) things to say about political philosophy, but there's no need for him to say that they're actually found in Plato (inspired by Plato, perhaps, but not found in the text). Strauss's followers, on the other hand, are less impressive.TallMan 00:29, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Well only the philosopher-kings know and they aren't supposed to tell. So if you know the correct way you must be a philosopher king, if not there is no reason to worry about it because you are not. The point is to strain out ideas that the majority of people would be intolerant of based on their lack of knowledge.Johanan Raatz
That reminds me of some "captains of industry" that I've known. Machiavellian micromanaging pinhead bullshitters, a dangerous type to have in a position of authority. Their management-by-fear-and-confusion techniques are appropriate to disposable help such as dishwashers, but when they try to manage professionals that way, the game gets really risky. I will cherish the memory for a long time of one story of "payback and goodbye" I witnessed with such a moron at the helm. The good ones, on the other hand, pay attention, keep their mouth mostly shut, knowing how to delegate, using something like "trust but verify" to get a lot more done, and with far more willing help. Sprocket J Cogswell 06:11, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
We are getting into some fairly obvious Nazism here, only instead of drawing legitimacy for his evil ideology from some mythic Thule civilization that never existed, he's drawing legitimacy for his evil ideology from some mythic Greek intellectual cult that also never existed. Naturlich, only a true Aryan philosopher king can recognize the misappropriation of recent and evil ideas to ancient thinkers "right way," but don't worry, the rest of us shouldn't worry our pretty little heads about what the chosen rulers might be up to.
It's difficult to call Godwin's Law when the whole point and purpose of Strauss's intellectual project was to rehabilitate fascism from the Nazis. WodewickWelease Wodewick! 07:48, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
So, Raatz, let me see if I've got things right. You think 1) there's a hidden esoteric meaning in Plato (and in other classical political philosophers). 2) This meaning is only available to the philosopher-kings. 3) You are not a philosopher-king, by your own admission. So what possible reason could you have for thinking that 1) is true? For that matter, if you think (like Strauss did) that the discussion of the ideal city in The Republic is not a blueprint for governance, and that the real meaning of the dialogue is something else, why would you think there are (supposed to be) philosopher-kings at all? That is, if Strauss is right, then the portions of the Republic where Plato discusses how the ideal city is to be run do not, in fact, describe the ideal city. They are instead investigations into the nature of the city and how it relates to humans as political beings. If you buy Strauss's line, then, you shouldn't also think that there ought to be philosopher-kings.
This, by the way, is exactly why I distinguish between Strauss (who didn't think that there ought to be philosopher-kings) and Straussians (who are pants-on-head crazy). Strauss's views are problematic as interpretations of Plato, because they rest on shaky epistemic footing. The Straussians are just inconsistent.TallMan 13:14, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Lunacy protrudes[edit]

It must be tough to rule the world when you have to move your feet every time Mom vacuums or changes a load of laundry. Sweating intense prophetsnutjobs have a hard enough time getting any respect as it is. Sprocket J Cogswell 19:20, 3 December 2009 (UTC) Yes, that was puerile, but I wasn't going to rest easy until I said it. So. There.

Jfraatz, I'm still hoping you'll clarify the status of your title and your essay. Could you tell us
i) Do you believe that the title "Engineered Language using a Linguistic Deep Structure Algorithm" is an accurate description of what you have done?
ii) Do you believe this essay a correct and accurate description of the MemeShock program?
If yes, could you try to explain them, in light of the criticisms above? If no, then is your goal in publishing them? --Retwa 22:48, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Well I didn't originally give it a label. It's just when it came up on conservapedia that I decided on that name. I have heard some people criticize it but I think it is roughly correct in certain senses. Deep structure studies the underlying pattern in sentences that are structured differently. This underlying pattern ultimately comes from the way words are linked to each other by definitions in the dictionary -which is what the goal of the algorithm was (to study these links and in particular how they are circular). It may not be perfectly accurate, but it was the best description I could think of. If you want I can call it the "MemeShock algorithm." --Johanan Raatz
A nitpick: deep structure doesn't study anything. Rather, people study deep structure, which is a theoretical postulate in linguistics and philosophy of mind. More important: you seem to be assuming something like an inferentialist account of meaning here. It's not obvious that deep structure of a linguistic object will ultimately be cached out in terms of words. The language of thought hypothesis, at least in its earlier formulations, is that the meanings of sentences are ultimately determined by mental representations which have their content intrinsically. Even if you don't buy the LOTH, you might be a nativist about concepts or think that some (or all) terms just represent objects simpliciter.TallMan 04:38, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Comment on Marcuse[edit]

I forget where I saw this above or perhaps in a related page, however there was a discussion of Marcuse's concept of "liberating tolerance" that I thought I should address. The argument was that Marcuse was merely saying that we should not be tolerant of intolerance. However there is something else relevant about this that I thought I would point out.

Marcuse, never explained why the views he taught others to be intolerant of were intolerant in the first place. In fact he specifically stated that he did not know this, but rather presupposed it on faith. Thus any argument raised against intolerance of those views which he presumptively labeled "intolerant" was met with a begging of the question:

"To be sure, this practice already presupposes the radical goal which it seeks to achieve. I committed this petitio principii in order to combat the pernicious ideology that tolerance is already institutionalized in this society."

It's in the last paragraph of his paper, but here you can clearly see that he has no intention of even trying to engage in honest discussion. He openly admits that he is committing a logical fallacy because he believes his radical agenda to be valid as an article of faith without rational basis. This is the basis of PC censorship today.

Let me give you a good example:

Last night Karl Rove came over to speak at UWM. Outside of the room were a bunch of disruptive SDSers who had nothing better to do than organize a temper tantrum and scream "war criminal" whenever they could. Inside was a regular circus, with "liberal intellectuals" as Rove referred to them acting like buffoons and being generally disruptive. Rove made a number of good points and overall pwned his detractors hands down. His detractors by and large instead of trying to be levelheaded and reasonable behaved like 2 year old children throwing a hissy-fit.

By contrast a few years back Bill Ayers came to speak on campus, me and a few other College Republicans decided to go to see it. The conservatives in the audience were much more civil and there were no protestors outside screaming "terrorist." No one inside acted like a buffoon or constantly disrupted Ayers like what Mr. Rove was treated with.

Now tell me, whose was the tolerant ideology? If Marcuse was right, and conservatives had the generally intolerant ideology than why was it that the right-wingers at Bill Ayer's event were civil and polite, and the left-wingers at Karl Rove's event were acting like circus clowns?

See in reality what I am doing is taking Marcuse's liberating tolerance and using objectively. I've had it with being tolerant of intolerant leftists who then insist that I am the one being intolerant when they are the one screaming and being disruptive.

Perhaps I am stuck on a college campus which is much more left-wing than normal, but can you see where I am coming from here? --Johanan Raatz

There will be much more to follow, but here's a quickie. I am blocked, banned, and salted on CP (check my contribs and tell me why?). You are welcome here. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:18, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
A few intiial points:
  • Karl Rove's vicious forays into incredible scumminess in politics occurred within this past decade. Bill Ayers, on the other hand, has been a teacher and education advocate, for decades since his own morally reprehensible acts. It's not really a very fair comparison.
  • Even if it was, college students are hardly the most reasonable group to use to compare two ideologies.
  • Even if Marcuse were to justify the ends with the means, that doesn't make it right to do so yourself.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 06:59, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

I thought "the argument" was that Marcuse is irrelevant. Spending so much time discussing some Frankfurt-school crit-theory academic in a debate on American politics is like a giant flashing red light: "Ignore me, I'm a loon." People like Marcuse (or Marx, or Derrida, or Soros, or your new bugbear Alinsky) receive public attention in only two places:
  • in the laughably powerless "____ studies" departments of graduate schools,
  • and in the fantasies of paranoid, Red-Guard crazies like Horowitz and yourself, who think that left-wing academia is some kind of intellectual fifth column bent on undermining Western civilization.
Among most "liberals," namedropping Marcuse or Alinsky will just get you blank stares.
Whatever excuses you make for your behavior ("Those Daily Kos liars will lie and win unless I lie first and moar!" and "I'm just turning leftist intolerance on itself!") your intellectual impostures are pretty pathetic.
Why was a university crowd calmer at a Bill Ayers speech than a Karl Rove speech? That's obvious. Rove's got a considerably greater kill-count. WodewickWelease Wodewick! 07:42, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Namedropping Marcuse or Alinsky among academics will generally get you blank stares as well. The only reason I know about Marcuse is because of an acquaintance from my undergrad days. I've dabbled in political philosophy for my entire career but neither Marcuse nor Alinsky has ever come up.
It's also worth noting that Raatz is misinterpreting Marcuse a bit. In the postscript to Repressive Tolerance, he writes:
[T]he alternative to the established semi-democratic process is not a dictatorship or elite, no matter how intellectual and intelligent, but the struggle for a real democracy. Part of this struggle is the fight against an ideology of tolerance which, in reality, favors and fortifies the conservation of the status quo of inequality and discrimination. For this struggle, I proposed the practice of discriminating tolerance. To be sure, this practice already presupposes the radical goal which it seeks to achieve. I committed this petitio principii in order to combat the pernicious ideology that tolerance is already institutionalized in this society.
That's the supposed fallacy Raatz mentions. But Marcuse's not actually committing a fallacy here. The problem, according to Marcuse, is that we think we're in a tolerant society, but in fact the democratic system has been suborned by politicians, industrialists, and media moguls that suppress dissenting opinions. He thinks this is bad, and the point of the article is to discuss how we can fix the problem. He says he's begging the question because he's not trying to defend the claim that the democratic system has been suborned or that this is bad. This isn't fallacious, though. Compare to the general who makes plans to retake a captured city. The plans probably won't include a justification for the claim that the city has been captured or that the city ought to be retaken, but it's not problematic that these elements are lacking.TallMan 13:34, 5 December 2009 (UTC)