Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Intellectualy Dishonesty: Inspirational Quote, 7/26/06

"The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments."

-- Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Sec. 191



(You'll note that Fred is not just blowing smoke here. This is an extremely important point.)

10 Comments:

Anonymous no fortunate son said...

I'm sure that would be news to Karl Rove. It seems to be working fine for him, so far. Or is "so far" the point? In that case, how far can we afford to go in allowing him to hurt his own cause? Remember, "in the long run, we all die."

11:02 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, good point, FS.

Your comment helps clarify N's point. He must mean that this is a way to harm the cause in something like a moral or intellectual way, not a kind of practical or *realpolitik*-type way. (Ugh. You know what I mean.)

Or maybe it IS something about the long run. That would actually make some sense, too. Rove has purchased short-term gains by driving folks like me far, far away from anything like sympathy with the GOP.

Or maybe N's just wrong.

11:55 AM  
Blogger the Ascetic Sensualist said...

This is a very good quote; it reminds me of a couple others that I often invoke:

"Just because you're on their side doesn't mean they're on your side."

"An idea is not responsible for those who believe in it."

I've seen those two both attributed to various people I've never heard of; I don't know who to attribute them to.

Political alliances are short-term alliances. They aren't principles.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

I'm always amazed that when my friends from the left set out a pair of shoes for the other guy, they don't try them on first.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous no fortunate son said...

Does that mean that you're not amazed when your friends from the right do it?

1:39 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

This is a struggle between good and evil and you're the good. You could look it up.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Well, strictly speaking, to point out that Rove makes mistake x isn't to imply that no liberals make mistake x.

I don't actually even think that this is the kind of chicanery that is characteristic of Rove. He's better at using bad arguments and outright lies against his opponents than using bad arguments in favor of his own position.

Do liberals use bad arguments in favor of liberalism. Hell yes, all the friggin' time.

They just do it a teensy, eensy, weensy bit less than conservatives do, so far as I can tell.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous no fortunate son said...

Another thing to keep in mind is what that Harris poll shows--too many people in this country can't even keep the facts straight. How can anyone reasonably expect them to tell whether an argument is good or bad.

That's too much trouble. Easier to just accept that whatever your pre-approved opinion leader says must be true.

I like the on this subject. Be sure to get the one for Wednesday, July 26.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Karl Rove, of course, is the current regime's Minister of Propaganda.

In ancient Greece, the cleverest manipulators of rhetoric were called sophists. Their services, in the Athenian democracy, were in high demand, by both the goodhearted and the cynical. Truth is unimportant: beg, borrow, steal or cheat a win in debate, in rhetoric. Sophists were damn well-paid. They win votes. Votes win power. Power is pretty much priceless.

There's a certain cynicism about democracy that holds the demos is stupid, immune to truth, and falls for the cleverest argument, n'est ce-pas?

We "trust the people," except when we disagree with them.

6:40 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, and we all want that to be false. Hence we resist the evidence that it's true. Hence...

8:42 AM  

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