Please interpret this.
1/ “As of 1 January 2020, 74.3% of the population of Denmark are members [of the Church of Denmark], though membership is voluntary.” (Wikipedia: Church of Denmark, May 26, 2021)
2/ “Percentage of population who are nonreligious. Denmark: 61%.” (Wikipedia: Irreligion, May 26, 2021)
Is it safe to say that the Church of Denmark is not a religious organization?
According to the above figures, 39% of Danes have faith while 74.3% of them are voluntary members in the Church of Denmark (Folkekirken). Given that among the 25.7% who are not members of the Church, there are religious persons too (earnest Catholics, Calvinists, Muslims…), the percentage of religious Danes who belong to the Church of Denmark is obviously below half the number of Church of Denmark members (below 37.15% of population), that is, more than half of Folkekirken members do not have faith and probably never had.
New open letter asks Trudeau to stop plans to harm the internet.
This is the person who claimed that derogatory speech is the same as shouting fire in a crowded theater, the classic SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) example of what derogatory speech is not and can never be. How dare Canadians allow their politicians to talk such humbug when they have had the world’s beacon of liberty as their sole neighbor for more than 250 years? Are they all eyes for Greenland? Yes, it must be that: for the last 250 years Canada has had eyes for Greenland only and now derogatory speech is like shouting fire in a crowded theater in Canada.
Canada Justice Minister pushes for censorship bill and limited freedoms. David Lametti said freedoms are not “absolute.”
250 years with the world’s beacon of liberty for sole neighbor and Canadian politicians know no better than telling Canadians freedoms are not absolute – in order to pass censorship bills. How is it possible? How can American First Amendment law exist and spread not like fire over the world? – Because of politicians.
Since the US failed to export its unique free speech spirit abroad, now the country is at risk of losing it at home. The US failed to export it because it has not been a politician’s job to begin with: American free speech law is entirely judge-made.
It takes independent judges tenured for life to defend free speech, to prevent elected, corrupt policitians from making it an empty shell.
“French trial opens over anti-Asian Covid tweets.” (RFI in English, March 25, 2021)
“Protesters gathered in front of the Paris court, with one man carrying a placard which read ‘In Atlanta or in Paris, no to anti-Asian racism,’ in reference to last week’s mass shooting in the US that killed six Asian women.”
“‘My mother has been attacked, my aunt too. Because we are Asian, people think that we have money,’ Darith, a 30-year-old of Chinese-Cambodian descent, told French news agency AFP at the protest in Paris.”
Note the rhetoric. “Protesters” gather against defendants who are facing prison. It’s a lynch mob. (That the defendants are “most likely facing damages if convicted rather than prison” is only due to the fact that none of them has a criminal record, otherwise the likelihood would be quite the reverse.)
The journalist then quotes one protester, an Asian woman, who talks of relatives having been physically attacked. Why is this woman not protesting in front of the court that judges the attackers instead of protesting in front of a court that judges people for speech? Because there is no trial? Most likely because there is no trial and there will never be a trial. It is easy to prosecute people for speech, child’s play, but it makes no difference on people’s safety and only allows governments to conceal facts.
The rhetoric consists in slipping in the assumption that prosecuting speech is an efficient way to guarantee people’s safety.
I wish the US exported more of its free speech spirit and less of its mass culture. In fact, as they have not exported the former at all, the risk is now quite serious that they lose this unique spirit.
L’argument des défenseurs du violeur présumé Roman Polanski, que la victime ou l’une des victimes a retiré sa plainte, est, contrairement à ce qu’ils semblent penser, accablant pour lui : le procureur américain insiste parce qu’il a la preuve de la culpabilité du violeur présumé. Et ces défenseurs ont encore à apprendre qu’une action pénale ne se résout pas par un accord entre parties mais par une condamnation réparatrice du corps social lésé ou par un innocentement en bonne et due forme, un acquittement.
I shut down my Twitter account in protest against their censorship policy. I then opened a … account and found some are posting the “news” I already read from “white nationalists” twenty years ago: the same black on white crimes. Have they done nothing except posting these couple of crime stories again and again these last twenty years? I can see no future for such people.
My other feeling about … is that half posters are cops in their free time and the other half are cops on duty.
White Plakkers in South Africa: A Libertarian Issue
We all have heard of the phenomenon of white slum dwellers (aka squatters or, in Afrikaans, ‘plakkers’) since the end of apartheid in South Africa.
These new white poors are obviously from two categories of people: 1/ private sector employees who were dismissed because of affirmative action policies and 2/ public sector employees, dismissed for the same reason.
Considering (a) the apartheid economy as bureaucratic and (b) any government’s room for affirmative action to be larger in the public sector, a majority of current white plakkers must be the result of dismissals from the public sector, as the new South African economy remains bureaucratic but with new colored staff. It’s not farmers who became plakkers (they have trouble of their own with targeted killings meant as intimidation to have them leave the land and make room for land reform) nor entrepreneurs nor highly qualified employees (for a time shielded by their qualifications). Low-qualification jobs in the public sector that were the preserve of white (and preferentially, in the context of Afrikaner nationalism, Afrikaans-speaking) South Africans shifted to blacks.
Expelled from protected niches where their productivity was not, in fact, an issue, these white functionaries had no qualification whatsoever to market. They were like those people in European countries doing menial jobs in administrations like bringing sparkling water to the director or taking the coat of the minister on his arrival, and in poorer countries opening doors or saluting militarily anybody walking down the corridors. They were trapped while thinking they had made it in life.
Even if their position made sense, like cops, when the figures are in excess because of the bureaucratic, subsidized nature of the sector, they cannot all convert to the private security sector, and yesterday’s cop is today’s squatter.
From this I expect racism to be highest, in every country, among low-qualification protected jobs, not because of a lack of education (in fact culture is likely to make one’s racism more articulate if anything) but because of the at the same time coveted and exposed nature of said positions, at the government’s discretion. Governments are pressed to make societies that are more diverse also more equal, which basically requires that more jobs at the government’s hand be reserved for minorities. This is the statistics you need to know in order to assess government’s racism: Are the people working for government as diverse as the society? A government can tell you anything about how to fight racism and how it fights it (with hate speech laws etc), as long as it keeps its jobs disproportionately white, it is racist, make no mistake about it.
(The reader understands I do not know the particulars about plakkers’ past – and perhaps such a survey has not even been carried out – but I laid down my assumptions and I believe they are plausible, perhaps with some tilting towards the public sector. Another phenomenon to take into account is the massive white qualified workers’ flight from South Africa at the end of apartheid, called chicken run by some, which no doubt caused a slump.)
I want to make a confession: I burnt books… Well, as I don’t have a fireplace I dropped them in the trash can anyway. I needed to make room.
If the government has the right to want to discourage drugs consumption, then it has the right to want to discourage homosexual conduct, and the discourse vindicating equal rights for homosexuals is an attempt to silence those who hold the view that homosexuality is a choice except for a miniscule minority and that equal rights would therefore cause a risk of homosexualization of the society (like pagan societies of old) – same as the prohibition of drugs which intends to prevent a generalization of drugs consumption, whether this generalization would take place or not. Remember that pornography was first legalized in Denmark in 1969, with the Danish national church (Church of Denmark) approving on the ground that pornography owed its attraction to the prohibition – yet people have not turned their back on pornography in spite of its legalization, quite the contrary.
When the discourse of equal rights is adopted by the government, then it is a state-sponsored ideology acting with the aim of prevailing against other ideologies, a breach of state neutrality.
The previous paragraph is a reply to the claim that granting equal rights would put an end to a current breach of state neutrality (in the US). It would not, as it would be a breach of neutrality. (This is not to say the state must remain neutral on the issue, as my thought is that it cannot.)
When the government adopts the equal rights discourse it is buying one ideology, namely that people engaging in homosexual conduct are not free agents making a choice, as if homosexuality, therefore, were like one’s race. Thus the government dismisses and actually opposes another ideology according to which those engaging in homosexual conduct thereby make a choice and it is at best a small part of them, resulting from genetic drift, who simply cannot have intercourse with a person of the other sex as a result of their genetic makeup. As we find such conclusions in medical books I guess it could be possible for medical authorities to issue permits for these, let’s call them genetic-drift homosexuals, so that they would not be discriminated against. But as far as the others are concerned, who are in reality bisexuals, the government deals not with something like race but with a practice which it has the right to want to discourage.
Second Amendment: A ‘Collective Right’?
The Second Amendment reads: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) (which was followed by McDonald v. City of Chicago, 2010, about state and local governments), the Supreme Court ruled that the Amendment protects an individual right against federal encroachments.
Some people had argued that the right was only a “collective right within the context of a militia.” To no one’s surprise the same people call Heller a “very controversial decision.” In fact there is no possibility that the Amendment be interpreted as they do, even though their opinion would be held by all liberal scholars in the US. There is nothing controversial with Heller and on the contrary these people’s contrived interpretation of the Amendment is outrageous.
What is a militia? A militia is a group of armed persons who get together in order to perform duties that need guns. First you have armed individuals, then, when they get together, a militia. You cannot place the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms inside a militia instead of individuals, that is, in a militia that would not exist before individuals associate and which then would provide them with guns, because then it would not be the militia that provides the guns but the government, which has nothing to do here according to the notion of a militia.
Of two things it would be either one or the other: either the militia would be a mere paper formality for individuals to buy guns (namely, they would have to attest militia membership and as freedom of association is guaranteed it would be a mere formality without substance) or you intend the membership condition to restrict access to guns and that is not possible if you do not curtail freedom of association at the same time, namely if you do not insist on the government controling militia duties, and then not only you make the right to bear arms dependent on the government but also you suppress militias qua militias (said groups would be something like the standing army or its reserve), but they are “necessary to a free state.”
Opponents to an individual right are opponents to the Amendment plain and simple.
Besides, if the right to bear arms were collective (“collective right within the context of a militia”) instead of individual, the individuals who would form a militia would be unfamiliar with the use of guns and their association would be a very ineffectual militia. Likewise, a new member joining a militia would be an ineffectual member. In fact it is hard to imagine how people with no individual right to bear arms would ever think of forming or joining militias; a collective vs individual right would be nothing but an obstacle to forming militias, which, again, are “necessary to a free state.”
Arguably this is what is meant by the words “well regulated” of the Amendment: a well regulated militia needs members who know how to use guns, otherwise it is not a militia, it’s a shooting club.
(The reader understands I am not talking about militia in the sense of the military reserve but about citizen militias, which result both from freedom of association and one’s responsibility to defend oneself. It is even more sinister when one thinks the advocates of a Second Amendment “collective right,” who made up this contrivance in order to void the Amendment as they know they cannot repeal it, fancied the right could be limited to a military reserve.)
Kant: A Very Short Introduction (2001) by Roger Scruton is a deluge of scepticism. It saddens me that they had a sceptic write a very short introduction on Kant, as if they could not find someone more receptive to Kantian thought to share it with the public.
There is no “crucial ambiguity” (p. 55) in Kant’s philosophy about the thing-in-itself. That the thing-in-itself cannot “cause, or stand in any other relation to, an appearance” (56) is true and yet the thing-in-itself is the same thing as the apperances, the trial they make (Scruton following) is absurd. Appearances can have no causal or other relation to the thing-in-itself because these categories are only applicable to our experience (appearances), this is precisely what Scruton explained in the previous chapter. So a lack of category relation is a necessary conclusion.
Kant simply says our experience is what our intellect makes of the thing-in-itself. No ambiguity.
Kant’s philosophy is not dependent on Newton’s works, as if one could discard it because “we know” Newton has been surpassed by later physicists. In fact, Kant explained why physics like all empirical science will always advance while metaphysics can achieve its goal. Philosophers who keep dogging the advances of physics to get the fundamentals of their thinking from it are not philosophers, and my Apologie de l’épistémologie kantienne (PDF available in this blog’s table of contents) is the denunciation of philosophical scientism (which makes philosophy ancillary to empirical results), exploding the so-called philosophies that have been built on such theories as relativity and quantum mechanics, their inconsistent juggling, their “revolutionary” bombast.
“It is fair to say that the transcendental deduction has never been considered to provide a satisfactory argument.” (46)
I don’t know if it is fair, although I rather understand Kant’s epistemology has got the universal credit it deserves, but I for sure find it satisfactory and the proof being in the pudding it remains, I find, an extraordinarily convenient tool for demolishing everything that has since been trying its feeble teeth at the calf of the giant (as Schopenhauer would say).
Scruton is a case of Jekyll and Hyde: on practical reason he shows much more patience and understanding. I guess it is because he had no clue about what to think of the transcendental deduction and had to rely on more “proficient” than himself. But as he writes that in the final analysis Kantian practical reason is “common-sense morality,” is it because it is trite that he is patient and comfortable with it?
And the comical touch at the end of the chapter: “Even in our most private and intimate encounters, reason covertly abstracts from the immediate circumstances and reminds us of the moral law.” (94) Reason in the most private and intimate moments abstracts…
First, this clandestine homage to Mrs Scruton or whomever it might be, is comical. Second, it reminds one, by contrast, of Kierkegaard’s words. It is in a moment of anguish, because man is furthest away from his mind, that man is conceived. Then birth is another moment of unfathomable anguish for the woman and thus a new babe is thrown into this vale of tears.
Kierkegaard adds that only by primitive people is anguish absent at birth. The babe slips out and it’s done. The baby doesn’t even cry (and elsewhere on this blog I have commented Kant’s remark that the babe of man is the only born crying!) I saw it in a documentary film, Africa ama (1971) by Angelo and Alfredo Castiglioni: only after the mother blows in the babe’s nose, evacuating mucus or something, does the baby start crying.