Category Archives: Homosexuality

Right, Dangerous, and Chaotic

Juda-Maccabaeus

The lessons we should learn from all
the fighting in the Days of Old
when Providence bestowed Divine,
the Sanctuary purified:

“Let the let encircle all you hold
and don’t uproot the olive grove.”

So now Jerusalem, you know it’s not right
After all you’ve been through, you should know better than
To become the wicked ones
Almighty God once saved you from.”

– Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn, “Jersualem“

It is wrong to use violence against people who are living peacefully. Sometimes we have to, because we don’t know ways to solve our problems that don’t involve being violent to peaceful people, but that assault remains wrong.

Likewise, it is dangerous to take actions that have unknowable costs. Sometimes we do so anyway, because the alternative is so wrong or is itself dangerous, but those excuses do not erase the danger that we introduce.

Finally, it is chaotic to introduce changes against the wishes of a democratic majority. This is does not mean doing so is necessarily wrong or dangerous, but it randomizes the purpose of elections (which are to allow the people to fire officials who they find unbearable), generates annoying social movements, and distracts the broader society from the more important goals of economic growth.

In Washington State, where I live, the people directly voted on, and approved, laws to legalize both marijuana and gay marriages. These are certainly dangerous (and gay marriage more so, as for most of American history marijuana was legal). But banning the right to contract in both cases is certainly wrong. Fortunately, Washington State’s legalization of both forms of contract was orderly, without judicial fiat or even legislatorial arrogant bullying the process.

In California, on the other hand, unelected judges took the dangerous and chaotic path of legalizing gay marriage (but not marijuana) by fiat. One wrong was undone — the one that was the most dangerous — but in a chaotic way.

This case is now before the Supreme Court. The nearest analogy I can think of is Roe v. Wade, which likewise was a dangerous and chaotic method of abolishing a wrong (violent persecution of post-conception birth control). Of course, Roe v. Wade also legalized another wrong, infanticide, so it is unlikely that the dangerous chaos ensuing from even a reckless ruling on the California gay marriage case will be as bad as what was caused by the Roe v. Wade decision.

Gay Marriage

 

“We celebrate the wars we won
The blood of history’s ancient sons
We followed Judah Maccabee
We fought against inequity

We saved ourselves with help from One
Who loves His children everyone
everyone
everyone
everyone
every one.”
– Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn, “Jersualem

The stupidest arguments for the legal recognition for gay marriage comes from those who support it.

Some say, this secures benefits. But how is expanding the welfare state a nobel goal? They say this as if its a benefit of legally recognizing gay marriage, but it is surely draw back.

Some say, this makes hospital visitation easier. But if someone does not understand the law enough to know what a durable power of attorney is, or how one might be constructed, or complemented, a good argument can be made that such a person is not competent to form a marriage contract.

Rather, the strongest argument for the legal recognition of marriage contract between two gays (male homosexuals or female homosexuals) is the same as free commerce in spirits, or marijuana, or prostitution: the right to contract. Since ancient days society has recognized “marriage” as a type of contract. If individuals are not harming others in their contract, it is morally wrong to deprive them of that contract.

The greatest argument against legal recognition of gay marriage (putting aside the ghastly feature of expanding the welfare state) is unintended consequences. The second and third order impact of legal recognition are unknown, and this is not a trivial concern.

Our Constitution allows our nation to handle this through federalism. Different States enact different laws, and the consequences of these different laws can be observed. Some of these laws, like prohibition, do not work out. Others, such as welfare reform, eventually become a model for the nation.

Legal non-recognition of gay marriage has the flaw of taking away the free contract rights of the individual concerns. It has the benefit of not expanding the welfare state. It has the potential benefit of avoiding unintended consequences.

As such, the present political conditions — “gay marriage” is recognized in some places, “civil union” is recognized in others, neither is recognized in yet others — are reasonable. Our political system is working as it should.

Scholarship or activism?

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) faced a choice in organizing the AERA 2009 conference: focus on scholarship and education, or dilute its mission by pushing a liberal-left agenda.

Obviously, AERA chose the second option:

From an email sent out to all AERA members, but not publicly available online:

In October, we announced a number of steps that the Association was taking after wide consultation, including with the AERA Queer Studies SIG, to address the fact that, in 2008, Mr. Douglas Manchester, the primary owner of the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, made a large individual contribution promoting passage of Proposition 8 in California. The steps taken by AERA include:

The Association purchased additional space at the Convention Center and shifted all high profile and social justice-related sessions as well as all official AERA Annual Meeting functions to the Convention Center or other hotels. The Association had planned to hold 850 sessions at the Hyatt and has reduced this number to 350 sessions.
The Association continues to include The Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel among the hotels offering rooms to attendees. As is AERA practice, individual registrants are choosing in which hotels to make reservations until AERA blocks are filled.
As part of the 2009 Annual Meeting Program, AERA has added two Presidential symposia relevant to GLBT issues.
We took these actions mindful that, while Mr. Manchester is the owner of the Hotel, his views and actions do not reflect those of the Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and that the Hyatt Hotel operates the Manchester Grand Hyatt independent of Mr. Manchester. The Hyatt General Manager has appreciated our concerns and our actions to make clear the Association’s commitment to equal access, equal treatment, and non-discrimination as a matter of business policy and practice regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or religious preferences. The Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel itself has a well documented history of inclusiveness on GLBT issues.

It bothers me a lot that education, which is so important, suffers from such loud presence by left-wing political organizers. The scientific study of education is hobbles by its association with this crowd.

The Conservative Case Against Innovation

Courtesy of Economist’s View, this Tom Tomorrow piece on what happens when you let exotic new instruments grow rapidly: unexpected consequences.

While Tom Tomorrow is a Leftist, here he is making a conservative case: what happens when we create a new institution and rapidly expand it? What are the social consequences.

Of course, we “do not know” until a disaster occurs. Then we know to well.

There was a conservative case to be made against the rapid expansion of mortage-backed securities. Likewise, there is a conservative case to be made against things such as homosexual marriage laws. These are new things we do not know the consequences of.

On one side are libertarians, who say, “You can only stop these contracts through violence, and the first rule of civilized society is never to initiate violence.”

On the other side are conservatives, who say, “The state exists to protect against against the chaos of nature. We are at war with uncertainty, becauese bad choices can lead lost lives of innocent people who were caught up in your innovations.”

Homosexuality: Genetic Determinism and Thought Processes

A Spoon is like a headache,” by Donald Hoffman, Edge: The World Question Center, 2006, http://www.edge.org/q2006/q06_3.html#hoffman.

Groups of people may differ genetically in their average talents and temperaments,” by Steven Pinker, Edge: The World Question Center, 2006, http://www.edge.org/q2006/q06_3.html#pinker

On Judging the Past: Homosexuality Revisited Part Three in Homosexuality and Globalization,” by Curtis Weeks, Phatic Communion, 8 September 2006, http://www.phaticcommunion.com/archives/2006/09/on_judging_the.php.

I remember other conversations between us…,” by Curtis Weeks, Phatic Communion, 10 September 2006, http://www.phaticcommunion.com/archives/2006/09/on_judging_the.php#c1423.

Curtis Gale Weeks’ latest foray into our discussion on homosexuality (see Historical Uniformism v Historical Positivism, or, Did Homosexuality Exist in Ancient Greece? and “Homosexuality (Only for the Trivia)) for some context) had a passage that initially confused me for because of its jargon of “abstract” and “concrete” processes

My reason for putting ‘observation’ and ‘observations’ in single quotes above is simply that I have tried to minimize the confusion that the Revised OODA might create. Since genetic heritage is placed outside the internal Abstract OODA (thus, outside the Concrete Orient process), using the term observation to denote how genetic information enters into the abstract processes might confuse some readers who generally equate observation with the five senses. Here, observation is used broadly to denote how physical, concrete information from the World enters into the abstract processing; and, since genetic heritage can be altered, like sensations might be altered for the five basic senses, different orientations may result from whatever new physiological information enters into the process of abstraction.

However, in a comment, Curtis kindly explained what he meant:

For the purposes of easing this conversation and later conversations, I would note that my general thought on the matter is much like what I have given just above: thinking is a physical process that occurs in the brain and may be thought of as ‘concrete’. In another fairly recent series of comments to another post on PC, I replied to a question about memes by saying that, broadly speaking, I think they are merely certain arrangements of electrochemical conditions / physical particles within the brain. However, when you think of a white bunny rabbit, I do not believe that a small, furry creature with floppy ears and a cotton tail is hopping about in your skull. So conceiving of an ‘abstract’ process may be quite utilitarian. In truth, my general feeling is that thoughts and the thinking process are physical, but we may distinguish between those physical realities or conditions and the physical realities and conditions of the exterior world to which they relate; i.e., there are two sets of physical realities which are quite different but which interrelate in some manner (or, indeed, interact.)

In other words (if I understand him correctly), Curtis is saying that one’s own thoughts are “concrete” in that they are physically taking place within the neural system, but whenever they are compared to another (and so made meaningful) we can only describe some abstraction of that process.

I was still skeptical of the use of this distinction, when low-and-behold, some class readings backed up CGW:


. Donald Hoffman, a scientist at UC Irvine, wrote

Suppose I have a headache, and I tell you about it. It is, say, a pounding headache that started at the back of the neck and migrated to encompass my forehead and eyes. You respond empathetically, recalling a similar headache you had, and suggest a couple remedies. We discuss our headaches and remedies a bit, then move on to other topics.

Of course no one but me can experience my headaches, and no one but you can experience yours. But this posed no obstacle to our meaningful conversation. You simply assumed that my headaches are relevantly similar to yours, and I assumed the same about your headaches. The fact that there is no “public headache,” no single headache that we both experience, is simply no problem.

A spoon is like a headache. Suppose I hand you a spoon. It is common to assume that the spoon I experience during this transfer is numerically identical to the spoon you experience. But this assumption is false. No one but me can experience my spoon, and no one but you can experience your spoon. But this is no problem. It is enough for me to assume that your spoon experience is relevantly similar to mine. For effective communication, no public spoon is necessary, just like no public headache is necessary. Is there a “real spoon,” a mind-independent physical object that causes our spoon experiences and resembles our spoon experiences? This is not only unnecessary but unlikely. It is unlikely that the visual experiences of homo sapiens, shaped to permit survival in a particular range of niches, should miraculously also happen to resemble the true nature of a mind-independent realm. Selective pressures for survival do not, except by accident, lead to truth.

I think we can “abstract” this text to discuss the utility of positivism while admitting to the limitations of positivism. So props to Curtis.

Later on the same webpage, Steven Pinker (who wrote The Blank Slate, a book I studied for seminar) listed a number of developments on genetic factors in groups:

* In January, Harvard president Larry Summers caused a firestorm when he cited research showing that women and men have non-identical statistical distributions of cognitive abilities and life priorities.

* In March, developmental biologist Armand Leroi published an op-ed in the New York Times rebutting the conventional wisdom that race does not exist. (The conventional wisdom is coming to be known as Lewontin’s Fallacy: that because most genes may be found in all human groups, the groups don’t differ at all. But patterns of correlation among genes do differ between groups, and different clusters of correlated genes correspond well to the major races labeled by common sense. )

* In June, the Times reported a forthcoming study by physicist Greg Cochran, anthropologist Jason Hardy, and population geneticist Henry Harpending proposing that Ashkenazi Jews have been biologically selected for high intelligence, and that their well-documented genetic diseases are a by-product of this evolutionary history.

This also reminded me of concepts by Curtis, in the same thread:

But that’s a little like saying that homosexuality is abstract (in the metaphysical sense) rather than concrete, isn’t it, since an utter lack of genetic or concrete physiological processes that might lead to homosexuality is presumed if choice is the only determining factor? [emphasis mind — tdaxp] Then, we would have to wonder why some people choose it — with or without coercion — whereas others do not, and an assumption of an entire lack of any physiological process causing or modifying that choice is also therefore an assumption that some metaphysical or mystical element has led to the choice

A previous comment by Pinker shows the error of Curtis’ ways:

“The most risible pretexts for bad behavior in recent decades have come not from biological determinism but from environmental determinism: the abuse excuse, the Twinkie defense, black rage, pornography poisoning, societal sickness, media violence, rock lyrics, and different cultural mores” (Pinker 178)

More specifically, ignoring the supernatural, there are only two possible determinants for human action:

  • Environment
  • Genetics

On most things these work together, though there are some that appear to be “exclusively genetic” (such as diseases which always occur with a certain mutation, and never do otherwise). or “exclusively environmental.”

  • It is a fallacy to say if something is exclusively environmentally determined it is the result of free choice: this is obviously untrue, as it would be environmentally determined.
  • Likewise, it is a fallacy to say if something is exclusively environmentally determined it is the result of free choice: this is obviously untrue, as it would be genetically determined.
  • Likewise, it is a fallacy to say if something is exclusively determined by environment and genetics together it is the result of free choice: this is obviously untrue, as it would be determined by genetics and environment together.

The point isn’t to eradicate the notion of “free choice.” Rather, it is to say that “free choice” isn’t a concept that would vary meaningfully by environment, genetics, or environmental-genetic interactionism. Frankly, the notion of free choice is better treated as an a prior presumption or a supernatural phenomenon than something that exists or not depending on whether an observed state is the result of G, E, or G X E.

Historical Uniformism v Historical Positivism, or, Did Homosexuality Exist in Ancient Greece?

Imagine that you have a set of four conceptual behaviors, patterns, phenotypes, whatever. We will call the elements “A,” “B,” “C,” and “D”


Set of Four Observables

You are able to operationalize them, and demonstrate all four exist in the world around you. In other words, you can give A, B, C, and D and objective definition, observe them, and with that same definition others can observe them too. These four elements can all be observed at the present time


Four Observables that Exist Now

Yet the question remains — did these exist earlier?


Determining the Pedigree of Observable Facts

Scientists and historians regularly run into this problem. Broadly, there are two approaches to them. One is based on observable evidence, and is a Positivist approach. Positivism is a fact-based method of inquiry that says something exists if there is positive evidence it exists. Another approach may be called uniformism. This belief, based on a presumption that the past is like the present, assumes something exists unless it can be proved it doesn’t.

Positivism, besides being a “fact-based” epistemology, limits what we think we know to what we can observe. Uniformism, being a “faith-based” method of inquiry, lets us believe all manners of things because “absense of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

As I will explain below the fold, a belief in the ancient existence of homosexuality requires a “faith-based” research agenda.


Same-sex relationships among males have been broken into four broad categories

  • Pedophilia: A Man-Boy Sexual Relationship, or a relationship that originates as such
  • Pederasty: A Man-Youth Sexual Relationship, or a relationship that originates as such
  • Faute-de-Mieuxa: A Man-Youth Sexual Relationship in a Unisexual Environment, or a relationship that originates as such
  • Homosexuality: A Man-Man Sexual Relationship in a Bisexual Environment, or a relationship that originates as such

(Necrophilia, lesbianism, bestiality, and other sexual relationships that are not between living human males will not be addressed here)

The contemporary existence of pedophilia, pederasty, faute-de-mieux, and homosexuality is established. All those phenotypes can be empirically demonstrated easily:


Pedophilia, Pedastry, Faute-de-Mieux, and Homosexuality Current Exist

Likewise, it is straight-forward to establish historical antiquity for pedophilia, pederasty, and faute-de-mieux. Greeks who we would now label as sexual predators had dyadic sexual relationships with (“preyed on” in contemporary terminology) males who had not undergone puberty, who were undergoing puberty, or were in unisexual environments.


Homosexuality Not Recorded as a Pre-Modern Fact

But did homosexuality exist? There is no evidence for homosexuality before the dawning of the Modern World (that is, no evidence earlier than 1453). Indeed, what words we have seem to close the door on its existence. Take, for instance, the speech or “Aristophanes” in Plato’s Symposium (I am grateful to Matti for pointing out this work in another discussion thread):

But they who are a section of the male follow the male, and while they are young, being slices of the original man, they have affection for men and embrace them, and these are the best of boys and youths, because they have the most manly nature.

Here, Plato mentions that all exclusive male same-sex partners who were introduced to such relationships by either pedophiles or pederast.? In addition, we may add to this reliable historical accounts of faute-de-mieux in the Greek armies.

Yet nowhere do we see homosexuality: we have positive evidence for the ancient pedigree of three phenotypes, but not a fourth.

Thus we are left with two choices.

  1. Have faith that the evidence must be there, but has not been found yet. Thus, those who say that homosexuality existed in ancient Greece are relying on faith in uniformism.
  2. Believe only what we have evidence for. Thus, those who say there is no reason to believe homosexuality existed in ancient Greece rely on facts to guide them.

Faith-Based Uniformitarians Assume Ancient Existence of Present Facts

Of course, facts can be incomplete. A positivist will change his mind when new facts arrive, but a uniformist must have his faith taken away for new facts to change his beliefs.

Tom Barnett Against Connectivity Fundamentalists

Note: This is part of a series of reviews for Blueprint for Action. The introduction and table of contents are also available.

You Wanted More,” by Tonic, American Pie: Music from the Motion Picture, 29 June 1999, http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/11/17/lyrics-for-you-wanted-more-by-tonic-from-the-american-pie-so.html [buy the cd].

Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating,” by Thomas Barnett, 20 October 2005, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0399153128/102-4292267-8637755?v=glance [author blog].

The Gaps in ‘Globalism,'” by Curtis Gale Weeks, Phatic Communion, 15 November 2005, http://www.phaticcommunion.com/archives/2005/11/the_gaps_in_glo.php (featured on ZenPundit).

Essentially, then, the “connectivity” is really the building of cheesecloth,” by Curtis Gale Weeks, tdaxp, 16 November 2005, http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/11/13/blueprint-for-divisiveness.html#c355860.


I don’t know when I got bitter
Love is surely better when it’s gone
Because you wanted more
More than I could handle
And a life that I can’t live”

– Tonic, “You Wanted More”

“The train’s engine can’t travel any faster than the caboose.”
– Thomas PM Barnett, “Blueprint for Action”


My previous reviews of Dr. TPM Barnett’s have been negative. I have criticized him for questionable statements on the ICC and his blindness to the consequences of highlighting the socially liberal parts of his philosophy. It is this last review that CGW objects to

As he comments at tdaxp

As long as gaps are built in the process of globalization, it will not be globalization — even if the gaps are made diffuse throughout the world rather than allowed to follow the “old borders” of the “old, unglobalized world” as they now do.

More technically, Curtis writes on his own blog that

A lack of connectivity, of feeling equal relevance within a system, produces opponents to that system; and, self-destructive behaviors by individuals within a system — such as drug abuse and financial insolvency — inhibit the overall economic success of the entire system.

Specifically, he is referring to homosexualists:

Dan’s reasoning is, in a nutshell, this: We can’t reasonably expect to entice homophobic nations into increased connectivity with the U.S. if we list “homosexual rights” as one of our core values.

for gay men and lesbians and their families, the concern is not at all petty; but the globalist designs of some would disregard it for the sake of expediency

By “homophobic nations” Curtis seems to mean “political societies without substantial pro-homosexualist elements.” His prescription, while very well written, is wrong and dangerous.
First, and most worrying for Mr. Weeks, would be who such homosexualist policies would encourage in the Gap, the Seam, and the New Core. In Dr. Barnett writes of a general male preference for religious parties, and a general female preference for order parties:

While men tend to vote according to religion and ethnicity in such situations, women tend to vote for those candidates who represent law and order. (258)

But as elections in Egypt

muslim_tech_sisters

and Iraq show, women will support religious parties in large numbers. And they will vote for reactionary parties.

You want fast, efficient, and popular “law and order” Sharia? Push homosexualism.

The danger is, of course, that the stronger forms of connectivity (economic, technological [and cultural! — tdaxp]) will trigger disagreements and crises that overwhelm the two sides’ ability to handle them, given their limited political understanding and security bonds. Here, mistakes can be made, because perceptions different greatly, no matter ow compelling the underlying economic rationales. (238)

You want the forces of good to win the Muslim Civil War? Be patient.,

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it wasn’t built as a democracy [and certainly not as a “progressive” society! — tdaxp]. (236)

at home:

There are plenty of political leaders in the Core who understand all too well that the real struggle is not between Islam and the West but with Islam regarding its convergence with the West and the historical forces of globalization. Nonetheless, plenty of these same politicians cannot exhibit the same patient at home that they might demand of American or European foreign policy in the Middle East… but again, can we show the necessary patience to let Muslims [and traditionalists generally — tdaxp] living the West make these necessary changes on their own schedule, or must we force confrontations and showdowns? (293-294)

and abroad

The one danger that all advocates of globalization recognize as threatening its existence is merely the divergence between winners and losers, both within states and among them.
What can prevent these splits from overwhelming globalization’s progress? Rules. The most important are rules within states that mandate — in my phrase — that the train’s engine (globalization’s winners) can’t travel any faster than the caboose (globalization’s losers). (255)

You want to win the Global War on Terrorism? Acknowledge that the world isn’t perfectly built to suit your desires, and work with the powers that are, both in the New Core

[Wrong reactions to 9/11] also decrease a lot of useful social, economic, and political connectivity with New Core pillars right now when we should be drawing them closer. (231)

and the Gap

Is [the Islamic world] a civilization that just wants to be left alone or fears being left behind?

I believe it is the latter, and that, as many experts on the region point out, the revival of religiosity throughout the Gulf area reflects a population’s desire not simply to resist our cultural “pollution” but to find some way to deal with undesired influences while adapting to much-needed and greatly desired economic connectivity that virtually all citizens there hope will lead to political pluralism over time. (270)

… not the imaginary homosexualist street that you might wish exists

My rage is not the type of rage that will seek outlet in instigating riots, or committing murder or acts of terrorism, or, now, in self-destructive behavior. Yet many in this American Gap might do these things, particularly self-destruct. A lack of connectivity, of feeling equal relevance within a system, produces opponents to that system; and, self-destructive behaviors by individuals within a system — such as drug abuse and financial insolvency — inhibit the overall economic success of the entire system. Current moves to ban gay marriage and continuing efforts to allow the discrimination against gays in the workforce are moves to institutionalize long-sustained gaps — a reaction against the greater connectivity of gays within American society — and are thus not terribly different in motive from the isolationist reactions of some state leaders or the terrorist groups who seek world dominance in order to avert the influences which come with globalization. They are the establishment of an exclusionary status quo which benefits most those who support that status quo. (Weeks)

Criticizing the “globalist plan that seeks increased international connectivity while disregarding internal gaps,” Curtis Gale Weeks would ignore the “expediency” of disregarding homosexualist concerns in order to focus on other things. But it’s not “expediency”: it’s the economy-of-force. Our enemy wants to alienate potential friends from us. The Weeks plan plays into that. We should stand up to al Qaeda and forge cultural connectivity.

If we eventually lose the Global War on Terrorism, an active policy homosexualism will join our support for the Saudi Tyranny and and the Drug War as…

… just another one of those crazy American obsessions that generate a lot of suffering and death distant from our shores… (Barnett 242)

Indeed, Dr. Barnett writes that the war of ideas is so problematic as to be a fight wort avoiding

Second, we should abandon efforts to create a U.S. Government-wide “strategic communication policy” designed to win the “hearts and minds” of young males inside the Gap who are perceived to be at risk for becoming terrorists. Such an approach only references the notion that somehow globalization is really all about Americanization, when it isn’t. We have no more need to explain ourselves culturally or politically to the Gap than do the citizens of Brazil, China, or India, three countries whose competitive rise in the global economy increasingly presents more challenges to Gap states than do the policies of an established Core power like America. (231-232)

Attacking traditional cultures with the homosexualism is especially disastrous because, while attempts to export progressivism will fail, alienating those cultures that CGW calls “homophobic” destroys the visceral attraction that globalization should have

That sense of globalism, or a belief in the inherent goodness of connectivity, is what drives globalization’s advance far more than either technology or the rare instances where military power is exerted. (254)

If homosexualists want to “connect” the world into their beliefs, they should wait as Barnett suggests…

So when a country has achieved a fairly broadband economic connectivity for its population, the discussion shifts from the quantity of connectivity (How much globalization?) to the quality of that connectivity (What mix of globalization?). (194)

Especially as efficient legal codes such as Sharia are enticing anyway…

Connectivity with the outside world generates higher transaction rates between the local economy and the global one. Those higher transaction rates demand a more efficient response from the government’s legal system over time, forcing reform and maturation of the economic rule set, with the most important ones being property rights and contract law. (260)

.. as a means of society glue: connecting a society with itself.

Well, we shouldn’t be surprised that an era that demands a grand strategy of shrinking the Gap would go hand in hand with a renewed focus on proselytizing global faiths.

Yesterday’s Protestant work ethic defined capitalism’s rise in the Core, providing what political scientist Robert Putnam calls “bonding social capital” that knits an existing community together, but today’s Protestant evangelicalism may well define capitalism’s ultimate triumph in the Gap, providing the “bridging social capital” that links faith-based communities throughout the Core to similar ones inside the Gap. So not only will the twenty-first century’s religiosity far outpace that of the twentieth, to the amazement of social scientists the world over, the ultimate impact of more religion will not be sectarian violence designed to drive religious communities apart, but rather increased social and political connectivity between Core and Gap that will definitely speed up the convergence of civilizations and — by doing so — facilitate globalization’s spread around the planet. (298-299)

Curtis Gale Weeks is concerned about international and intranational connectivity, but he focuses on secular-social-sexual connectivity. Political Religion has a real shot at being central to the new globalization, and provoking reactionaries by trying to go too fast could create a world many would not enjoy.

So perhaps all social liberals have to do is wait a generation or so before they can safely export their ideology to the Gap

If a Gap state simply hasn’t developed to the point where it can handle the onslaught of connectivity that globalization provides, a Go Slow ideology makes sense; otherwise we’re talking about the high likelihood that outside forces will take advantage of the lack of sufficient rule sets within a society to lock in unfair transactions [such as strict Islamic Law — tdaxp]… (195)

and that once a country is rich, all the dreams of a progressive politics will be realized

It’s only when the bulk of a society’s economic development reaches a certain plateau, typically between $5,000 and $10,000 per capita GDP, that you begin to see the public start becoming more demanding of pluralism and openness from its government. (195)

Well, maybe

BushElected_EnglandResponds

While I have criticized parts of Blueprint for Action before, Barnett is right that we can’t expect everything now. Connectivity-fundamentalism — forcing every society to be as “open” as every other — isn’t just a false definition of connectivity and globalization..

Should [globalization] be feared by the world for its homogenization of culture? I guess that would depend on whether you think California is a carbon copy of Alabama or that Texas and Massachusettes are indistinguishable. Convergence does not result in homogenity, but in a superficial of external similarities, much like that light brown face that will someday define the bulk of the American population. (289)

… it’s a dangerous one. The Blueprint for Action is a plan for “winning” over decades, not years. Attempts to speed up the world victory of one’s pet political projects are likely to end in tears. The Phatic Communion apologetic for homosexualist agitation is exactly what is not needed…

… except for the enemies of freedom, like al Qaeda, “state leaders or the terrorist groups who seek world dominance in order to avert the influences which come with globalization.” They’d love us to go 200 km / h. And it would be as deadly for us as driving in the wrong lane.

Blueprint for Divisiveness

Note: This is part of a series of reviews for Blueprint for Action. The introduction and table of contents are also available.

Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating,” by Thomas Barnett, 20 October 2005, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0399153128/102-4292267-8637755?v=glance [author blog]

I am glad to see…,” by Jeff, tdaxp, 13 November 2005, http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/11/12/barnett-wrong-on-international-criminal-court-independence-f.html#c349284.

A comment by Jeff of Caerdroia provides a perfect segue for the second part of my Blueprint for Action multi-review

Commenting on Tom Barnett’s questionable words on the International Criminal Court, Jeff wrote:

I am glad to see Dr. Barnett in PNM (I haven’t read the new one yet) trying to find a positive liberal approach to the world. I disagree with him in certain aspects (his excessive optimism regarding China, and failure to see evidence that weighs against his brilliant insight of drawing a circle around the places where the US has intervened and looking for commonalities between the included and excluded parts, and so forth), but I am glad to see the attempt being made. If a muscular Left is to return in the US, this kind of effort is vital.

Indeed, Dr. Barnett doesn’t hide being a liberal hawk. While Dr. Barnett’s quixotic KerryismRumsfeldism is a perfect defensible position (well, maybe), Dr. Barnett seems to have trouble decided whether he wants Blueprint for Action to be grand-strategy or liberal-strategy.

Take an excerpt from the best writing in the entire work: a commanding speech stretching from page 178 (“No one gets off free in this conflict…”) to 180 (“…and are willing to defend what they’ve earned.”).

Smack-dab in the middle of it, on page 179:

What I find so hilarious in this is the assumption of the Old Core types that their rejection of these ideas represents their death kneel, when nothing’s further from the truth.

Here’s a good example why: While Old Core Europe and Japan are more than a little bit tempted by Osama bin Laden’s offer of civilizational apartheid, both the United States and the New Core pillars understand what a false promise this truly is. America instinctively rejects the offer because., as citizens of the world’s free multinational economic and political union, we simply can’t accept the nation of a world thus divided. As a society blended from all civilizations, the very notion of such separatism is simply repulsive to our citizenry. For if such cultural apartheid really made sense, most of American history would have unfolded in vain — the Civil War, the suffragist movement, organized labor, civil rights, gay rights, and so on.

I read the section to each of my classes the week I read it, and got very good conversations out of it. While I had to change some phrases to match our text and their prior knowledge (“the Core” became “The Global North” or “the rich countries,” “the Gap” because “the Global South” or “the poor countries,” “the New Core” become “the new rising countries,” etc) I was very happy with the passage.

With the exception of the last half of the last quoted sentence.

Ultimately, I replaced it with:

For if such cultural apartheid really made sense, most of American history would have unfolded in vain — the Civil War, democracy, civil rights, and so on.”

Keeping Dr. Barnett’s original list, especially “gay rights,” would have distracted the issue away from his vision of “shrinking the Gap” and “ending war as we know it” to divisive and petty domestic concerns.

I have used concepts from Barnett in my classes this semester, and the student reaction has been extremely positive. One student reacted by approaching tears, asking “Why weren’t we just told this earlier? It make so much sense.” (I remember a similar response from a CSPAN caller once.) The materialism of student reaction surprised me (most students instinctively latched on to economy growth as the reason to defend globalization), showing that they already had the “New Core” mindset Dr. Barnett predicts for America.

can be a wonderful writer, and his work overlaps well with our discussions of sovereignty, international organizations, and political economy.

I decided not to allow conversation like that to be hijacked by Dr. Barnett’s tone-deafness.

Worse, it is not just Nebraska undergraduates who will be reading . The people we most need to reach — New Core citizens in pivotal states — are the ones he is most likely to alienate.

One of my friends was an several-times-promoted officer in the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force. He fits the stereotype of the modern Iranian: blaspheming, shaven, pork-eating, beer-drinking, dancing, etc. He was delighted when a friend still in Iran gave him this satiric picture of the “beloved” (heavy sarcasm) President Ahmednajad:

Ahmadinejad Shunned by the world
Political Speech from Iran

And his views on homosexualism would make Jerry Falwell blanch.

My purpose in this post is not to advocate capital punishment for sodomy. Indeed, as someone who referred to the weird, oddly-worded, and shellfish-strewn, wreckages in Leviticus” I oppose sodomy laws and “virtue” laws generally.

But the way to shrink the Gap is not to ruin your best work with domestic politics and is not to alienate the very progressive forces in New Core countries that globalization depends on.

The Barnett of Blueprint for Action is not the Barnett I first saw on CSPAN.

He still can spark a conversation, though.

PoliSci Department, Women’s Center, and LGBT

Unlike last time, not “LGBTQ” — someone must have given the Q‘s the boot

Career Success for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students
Monday, October 3, 2005
7 to 9 pm
Nebraska Union (room posted)

Dr. Y. Barry Chung, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology at Georgia State University will share practicalstrategies for LGBT students entering the workforce.

This interactive workshop features concrete ideas for
* Managing your sexual identity in job interviews
* Career choice strategies
* Managing your own career development

Sponsored by: the Faculty Convocations Committee; the Committee on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns; Career Services; Women’s Studies Program; the Women’s Center, the Queer Student Alliance; and the Department of Educational Psychology.

Dr. Chung is President Elect for the National Career Development Association, and his work has been honored by the American Psychological Association Division 44, the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Issues. He has published numerous articles and book chapters based on his research focusing on the career development of LGBT people.

For more information contact Jan Deeds at 472-2598, jdeeds1@unl.edu.

For those keeping track

# of PoliSci departmental emails relating to

"Hate Speech" in a New Jersey University

On Campus, Only Some Free Speech Protected, by Wendy McElroy, iFeminists, 28 July 2005, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,163705,00.html (from Brendan of I Hate Linux).

in the modern Academy:

The public notice (in full, with original formatting, from pdf original):

From: ANNOUNCEMENT
Sent: Monday, May 07, 2005 3:37 PM
Subject: women’s studies Department – Women’s History Month
Expires: Saturday, March 19, 2005 5:00 PM

Please do not hit reply, click here. MAILTO:ScalaA@wpunj.edu
Women’s History Month
Film & Discussion: Ruth and Connie: Every Room in the House, a lesbian relationship story
Date: March 9, 2005
Time: 7-9 PM
Place: Library Auditorium
Sponsor: Women’s Studies Department

Contact person: Dr. Arlene Holpp Scala x3405
Dr. Arlene Holpp, Chair
William Paterson University
Department of Women’s Study’s

The private reply, to the requested email address:

From: Daniel, Jihad
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2005 6:59 AM
To: Scala, Arlene
Subject: Homosexuality

Do not send me any mail about “Connie and Sally” and “Adam and Steve”. These are perversions. The absence of God in higher education brings on confusion. That is why in these classes the Creator of the heavens and the earth is never mentioned.

The debate of ideas in the modern University

On March 10, Scala filed a complaint with the university claiming Daniel’s message sounded “threatening.”

“I don’t want to feel threatened at my place of work,” she explained.

On June 15, university President Arnold Speert issued a letter of reprimand, to be placed in Daniel’s permanent employment file.