I originally posted this under the main page groups discussion but didn't get that much feedback. I hope this discussion is not too inappropriate for this groups purpose but I'm interested in your points of view.

Can these ideologies co-exist in one life form?
Admittedly, my interest in politics is just now ascending. Being in your
40's, raising 5 kids in today's world, dealing with the school board,
apparently will do that for ya (lol)! Recently, I came across an article
about Barry Goldwater and, being from Arizona, I took an interest.
Politics lost an incredible man, as I was pretty impressed. However, it
left me a bit confused too about people and their labels for themselves.
Help me out with this if you can. Here's a few Goldwater quotes for
Republican Senator from Arizona, candidate for President (1964)

Barry Goldwater On religious issues there can be little or no
compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as
their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in
a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls
this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name
on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that
are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with
wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following
their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups
on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a
loss of money or votes or both.
I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this
country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I
must believe in "A," "B," "C" and "D." Just who do they think they are?
And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral
beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure
the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted
right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning
them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to
dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of
-- Barry Goldwater, speech to the US Senate (September 16, 1981). Quoted
from wikiquote.org.

Barry Goldwater When you say "radical right" today, I think of these
moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are
trying to take the Republican Party away from the Republican Party, and
make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss
politics goodbye.
-- Barry Goldwater, The Washington Post (July 28, 1994). Quoted from

Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the
[Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a
terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and
governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are
acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know,
I've tried to deal with them.

Views: 101

Replies to This Discussion

Goldwater became more rational as he aged. The Barry Goldwater of the 1990s was not the same Barry Goldwater who ran for president in 1964. As he aged, Goldwater became more tolerant, reasonable, and moderate. Goldwater, in his later years, would find no home in today's Republican Party.
OfI see no problem at all with this at all Mr Goldwater was a true conservitive, in the original sense of the word. He beleived that the individual was supreme, not government, not the church or any other gang or group. This is one on the huge intellictual disconnects I see in the non-theist community, they replace the supreme being with government. Mr Goldwater understood that to be free ment not masters over the indivual.
Goldwater changed greatly over his lifespan. In 1964, he opposed Civil Rights and supported Apartheid. By the 1990s, I suspect he realized his earlier views were mistaken. He would certain take lengths were he alive today to separate himself from Republican extremists who sometimes quote him.
I totally agree!

Goldwater's view evolved over time as he saw the errors in his earlier thinking.
I don't think of government as my god or my master. I see it as my servant, and a necessary and valuable bulwark of civilization and defense against barbarism. If the individual is supreme, then we just end up with feudalism, because some individuals are more supreme than others. I prefer a goverment that evens the playing field.
Seems you have just described government perfectly, some individuals are indeed more supreme than others, we call them "politicians". They are not required to obey the laws they force upon us. They take what they want, from whoever they want, when they want to.

They use force. deadly at times, to demand compliance from those who disagree with them, even if that person's views or actions harms no one else.

So how exactly is this any different than what you assume happens in the absence of government?

And this is not a retorical question, I would really like to know how it is different?

How exactly is that not the feudalism you pretend to avoid?

Does it become acceptable because a majority "elected" them?

When the unelected give my money to private corporations and other parties for their own enrichment that is not barbarism?

It seems too me that this is the same as the church declaring that with them a person cannot be moral, bacause it is only through religion that a being can find morality.

Bullcrap I say to all of it. I am pretty sure that is is just that you lack the berries to attempt to use such force on your own behalf, so you cede its use to others than you pretend that anything they do is lawfully because you directly benefit from it and it hasn't risen to a level that YOU find offencive right now.
Democracy is a social contract, a tool, albeit an imperfect one, which ideally enables a society to create the most good while minimizing harm. As a tool, I'm the first to admit its many flaws. Any student of American history could hardly conclude otherwise. However social evolution is always a process of three steps forward and two steps back.

Consider the alternatives to democracy: the authoritarian state, a theocracy, or mere anarchy. Such states exist elsewhere in the world, and no informed individual would choose to live in such a place instead of residing in a democratic republic of the sort found in Western Europe, North American, and certain other localities.
Really, Habman? So I guess no congressman has ever gone to jail for breaking a law that applies to all of us, then. I realize that Congress has exempted itself from certain laws and regulations, and that is wrong, but your blanket statement is just silly. Politicians are not the rampaging predators you describe.

The difference between our system of government and feudalism is accountability. In a feudal system, the lords are not accountable to the serfs in any way. In any form of self-government, your extreme cynicism notwithstanding, the people are the government. Yes, there is often corruption, but it's less than there would be in a feudal system. In a feudal system, the serfs have no redress whatsoever. We have courts, opposing branches of government, checks and balances, and the vote. I think it's preposterous that you actually claim to see no difference between what we currently have in western democracies and what passed for government in medeival Europe or in present-day Somalia. Given the choice of where to live, can you honestly say it wouldn't matter to you? Of course not. You'd choose to live in a western democracy rather than in a feudal state. Be serious.

And yes, majority rules with respect for minority rights legitimizes government. Government is not evil. Government is necessary. Without it, strongmen with gangs step into the power vacuum, and you'd like that a whole lot less, so stop pouting. Our system is far from perfect, but it's better than having the mafia or the church running everything. Which is precisely what would happen if libertarians ever manage to convince society to dismantle government. If you don't like the way things are, work for more accountability and transparency in government. Don't just throw tantrums about how mean it is when people tell you what to do.
Some great responses which I have no time to comment on, darn kids;) Keeping me running! I'll get back to this soon, y'all.
My favorite quote of Goldwater's was, "Every good Christian should kick Jerry Falwell in the ass."
Yes! I liked that too!


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