PostHeaderIcon A Discussion Worth Having

During his recent overseas trip, GOP presidential candidate presumptive Mitt Robamaney made a comment to the effect that Israel has a much more vibrant economy than Palestine because they have a superior culture. Once the lame-stream-media attacks began, he backed off to a new position where he claimed that the Palestinians do poorly because of the choices they make.

First, I think the modified statement really says the same thing as the original because the choices made by a society are driven largely by their culture.

Second, there was no reason for Mitt to have backed away from the original statement except for the insane rule of Political Correctness which lists “culture” as one of its “lightening rod” words, guaranteed to always cause a strike aimed directly at anyone who uses the word “incorrectly”.

Third, the real shame is that the notion of the effect of culture on the success (or failure) of a society is a discussion well worth having. Episodes like this only serve to ensure such a discussion WILL NOT be had, at least in a rational and public forum.

As readers of this blog should know, this is a subject I have raised, more than once, in regard to the different success rates of Blacks and non-Blacks in the United States.

Several years ago, a professor at the University of Texas, Austin was censured for suggesting that cultural difference was one reason for the different academic achievements of different ethnic groups at the university. Again, an idea worth exploring was immediately squelched in the name of political correctness.

Disallowing any sane discussion of this issue is a tragedy because culture is very plastic in nature. Not only do cultures change over time, and usually in response to situational demands, they can also be intentionally changed if those clinging to a culture can be shown, rationally, how elements of their culture are actually working against their best interests.

Instead, the progressive movement stops any and all attempts at a rational discussion by making any reference to culture seem to be some manner of ethnic or racial slur. And further, by promoting the nonsense that all cultures are equally effective and equally valid without regard to the circumstances within which they operate.

It does not take a genius to notice that there are some things that have gone VERY WRONG in our Republic – and that they are getting progressively worse (pun intended). Even if one lacks the expertise and the articulation to state clearly what these might be, the overall state of the Republic, and its apparent downward trend, clearly suggest underlying problems.

Only a series of open, honest public dialogs can ever allow us to clearly identify those problems, something that MUST be done BEFORE the problems can be solved. And, it is irresponsible to arbitrarily take any subject off the discussion table, to say that there are areas and subjects that simply cannot be discussed. Yet, that is exactly what political correctness and its proponents are doing.

One can only assume that there are very powerful interests in our Republic who want our problems to continue unabated. Some because it is politically beneficial to them, others because it is economically beneficial to them and still others because they are hopeless bigots.

Imagine that you are obviously ill and you seek medical treatment only to be told that what ails you is most probably a disease that we are not allowed to discuss. Ergo, no further attempt at a diagnosis is possible. Would you settle for that? Obviously not. Then why do you settle for it when it is your society that is obviously ill?

Think about it.

Troy L Robinson

10 Responses to “A Discussion Worth Having”

  • Greg says:

    That is something I truly can believe in. Regardless of whether you agree on a certain issue or not, conversations ARE worth having. Let me use a few examples in recent memory, some more so than others, and these are conversations well worth having (in my opinion):

    1) In light of the Aurora shootings, I think a conversation should definitely be had as to gun control. Can we improve it? Do other things need to be checked in a background check? Or is it fine the way it is? Yet, to my utter dismay, all politicians are shying away from this one for no apparent reason. Even Michael Bloomberg has called Romney and Obama out on this say, “We need to know where you stand.”

    2) In light of Romney’s recent visits to England, and to a possibly larger questions to you, “What things ‘fit’ a certain culture?” If it had not been for the Arab Spring, for instance, I would have assumed we were shoving democracy down Iraqis’ and Afghanis’ throats. Does dictatorship work better in certain situations than in others? What countries/cultures are actually “Welcoming” to cultural exchanges? For an upcoming example, is Qatar a good spot for the World Cup?

    3) Religion talks should be had as well: Which tenets of religion fit best in a productive society (do unto others seems to be decent enough)? Which ones do not fit (being against homosexuals is one of them)? Is religion now nothing more than a “quaint antiquity” or is there something more to it?

    4) In light of the recent developments at Penn State: We all know child molesting is bad and is evil. What steps can be taken to prevent this in the future? How can we prevent molesters from going into a situation where they are apt to “Do wrong?” (I am not saying “Do wrong” is the way it shouldn’t be seen, in quotes, but I’m oversimplifying 😉 ) (For instance how do we prevent a child molester from going into schools, playgrounds, etc.?)

    5) How do we combat, if we are even able to, hyperpartisanship? Which attacks should be off-limits, etc.?

    That’s all off the top of my head, but I’m sure that you could definitely come up with more, Troy.

    The thing that is most frightening about your topic, and the topics I mentioned, is that NO ONE talks about these things, except for pundits. Politicians very rarely talk about this stuff, and it irritates me to no end.

    (Sorry for absence… Job search has been kicking my butt. Also, I wanted to take a break from responding to blogs for a while. I should be back for awhile)

    • Troy says:

      1) In light of the Aurora shootings, I think a conversation should definitely be had as to gun control. Can we improve it? Do other things need to be checked in a background check? Or is it fine the way it is? Yet, to my utter dismay, all politicians are shying away from this one for no apparent reason. Even Michael Bloomberg has called Romney and Obama out on this say, “We need to know where you stand.”

      Evidently you did not read (or did not agree with) my blog The Real Problem In Aurora http://www.thoughtsaloud.com/2012/07/27/the-real-problem-in-aurora/

      The point being that the loon (James Holmes) could have killed as many or more using home-made explosives (and we know that he knew how for this is how he booby-trapped his apartment).

      I would not mind a national conversation on gun OWNERSHIP if can be conducted in a rational forum. Nanny Bloomberg is anything but rational.

      Do you bother to read any NRA publications? Or, do you just write us off as “gun nuts”?

      Since you want such a conversation, why don’t we start one in this blog? I will even create the “root” document where the conversation can take place.

      Troy

    • Troy says:

      2) In light of Romney’s recent visits to England, and to a possibly larger questions to you, “What things ‘fit’ a certain culture?” If it had not been for the Arab Spring, for instance, I would have assumed we were shoving democracy down Iraqis’ and Afghanis’ throats. Does dictatorship work better in certain situations than in others? What countries/cultures are actually “Welcoming” to cultural exchanges? For an upcoming example, is Qatar a good spot for the World Cup?

      Greg, I admit that I can’t unravel this “question” such that I can give a single meaningful answer.

      For instance, I have no idea what you mean by “What things ‘fit’ a certain culture?”

      As for the question “Does dictatorship work better in certain situations than in others?” I would venture a qualified “yes”. It sometimes seems to work in nations that have no traditions of self government. The question is whether said dictatorship will be benevolent enough to allow the growth in prosperity that will lead to a grassroots demand for liberty (whether under a democracy or not).

      Then there is the question “If it had not been for the Arab Spring, for instance, I would have assumed we were shoving democracy down Iraqis’ and Afghanis’ throats.” Which I do not understand at all.

      Nor have I given a moments thought to Qatar or the World Cup or to which cultures might be “welcoming” to anything.

      I have no interest in forcing any culture on any people. That is for them to decide. All I want is for the impact of culture to be subject to rational consideration rather than treated like another sacred cow that cannot be touched.

      Troy

    • Troy says:

      3) Religion talks should be had as well: Which tenets of religion fit best in a productive society (do unto others seems to be decent enough)? Which ones do not fit (being against homosexuals is one of them)? Is religion now nothing more than a “quaint antiquity” or is there something more to it?

      Greg,
      I find it impossible to have a rational discussion about the tenets of a belief system. It is like the crazy attempts to debate evolution versus creativity. On the first hand, you have a science that has grown out of some demonstrable facts and on the other you have a bit of pure fantasy. The world of science is bounded by immutable rules while the world of fantasy is bounded only by the extent of ones imagination.

      The products of magical thinking can never be defeated by the application of logic because logic would not allow magical thinking to exist to begin with.

      Troy

  • What the media should have talked about in Romney’s speech was his gross mischaracterization of the income disparity between Israelis and Palestinians. Was it deliberate? Did he just make up numbers and figure no one would check them? Is he just that bad with numbers?

    Those Palestinians just made the poor decision to be born in a concentration camp.

    • ◄Dave► says:

      Concentration camp? Don’t you mean refugee camp, Steel? There is a bit of a difference. ◄Dave►

    • Troy says:

      Steel,
      My comments were meant to address the effects of culture. The ethics of the creation of the State of Israel should be discussed in a separate thread.

      Whatever one thinks about said ethics, what happened did happen and cannot be made to un-happen. So, the only valid questions concern where we go from here. To that end, I submit that the Palestinians have allowed the creation of a “victim culture” somewhat similar to the one created by Blacks in the United States. I further submit that such cultures do not serve the best interests of their adherents and, instead, tend to retard real progress.

      As to the accuracy of any numbers Robamaney used, I have no idea because they were not germane to the point I attempted to make.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Troy

      • So you would like to have a discussion about culture as it relates to success without bringing up the past? A tall order. As to relevance, my point was in regards to “there was no reason for Mitt to have backed away from the original statement”

        His statement was false, which both justifies media focus and a call for correction.

        I see victim culture on both sides here. I know you’d like to avoid the creation of Israel as a topic of discussion, but hell, Israel is by it’s very creation a handout. Israel plays the victim every time they take my money. Don’t you think the Palestinians would be doing better if we had given them a hundred billion? Israel has only got 8 million people! That’s $12,000 each, which is the income of a Palestinian for near a decade. Romney is praising the welfare queen for being more cultured than the vagabond.

        I think we’re making more profundity of Romney’s statement than there was. It was just simple pandering. He wants the support of Jewish lobbying groups. They give him a few million in campaign donations, he gives them a few billion in foreign aid. Win/win, right?

  • Daedalus says:

    In looking at the culture of Israel one has to consider its recent origins.
    http://countrystudies.us/israel/18.htm
    Founded mostly by terrorists at the close of WWII and not supported by many of the indigenous people They repeated the invasion of the part of the world they now call their own much as their long ago ancestors had entered the same region. Very collectivist from the get go (remember the kibbutz) they have come a long way toward a more rational and representative society. Unfortunately their neighbors have not kept pace, witness even Egypt slipping backward into a semi-religious state. The Palestinians have generated a culture of hatred against Israel which has become a major stumbling block in a search for peace. In the background there is Iran with its dreams of Aryan superiority (a throwback to Hitlers Germany and our invasion of the Philippines). I am surprised the Israelis are able to maintain what culture they have, staring destruction and annihilation in the face daily. Instead they have created a modern industrial society with representative government much like our own. One might expect that the Israelis would be very religous. Some of them are, but around 37% of them are atheist or agnostic. Try being an atheist in a muslim country. http://countrystudies.us/israel/18.htm

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