Steve Sailer, pushing the Hegelian dialectic?

Gintas writes:

Sailer wrote:

If you hold a thesis for what seem like good reasons, and somebody counters with a well-argued antithesis, you have several options:

- Reject the antithesis (the most common)

- Convert to the antithesis (the most dramatic)

- Look for a synthesis that makes sense of both your thesis and the other guy’s antithesis (usually, the hardest but most profitable)

I posted this comment:

Are you arguing for the Hegelian dialectic? The one that’s marched us relentlessly ever-leftward?

At some point a man has to cry, “Stop!” and stop “synthesizing” (a.k.a. compromising).

And here’s another version of the same comment which I didn’t post:

“This is how the left’s been doing it for years, pushing us ever leftward: thesis, antithesis, compromise / leftward ho!”

LA replies:

You were making a good point.

Remember that the Hegelian Dialectic, in contemporary circumstances of the liberal domination of society, is really the Hegelian Mambo, as explained in the below entry from 2004, “Hugh Hewitt and the Hegelian Mambo.” The discussion concerns conservatives who supported Giuliani for president, because, even though (as they admitted) he was a way-out social liberal on most issues, “he would keep us alive.” I continued:

… Since the left has become so extreme that it no longer supports national self-defense against our mortal enemies, conservatism has been reduced to the support of national self-defense against our mortal enemies. That which is not actively or passively treasonous is “conservative.”

The stated willingness of “conservatives” to abandon all conservative principles except for the principle of keeping ourselves alive is perhaps the greatest example so far of the Hegelian Mambo (a coinage invented by VFR participant Matt in this discussion, as a corollary of the Unprincipled Exception). In the Hegelian Mambo, as the left become more left, the right, in defining itself in opposition to the ever-more threatening extremism of the left, and not in terms of unchanging principles of its own, abandons its prior positions and moves ever further leftward itself. Thus, for example, at the rate we’re going on the life-style front, in ten years’ time a conservative will be a person who disapproves of sexual intercourse between humans and animals, and in fifteen years’ time a conservative will be a person who disapproves of marriage between humans and animals. The moderate position will be to support civil unions.

- end of initial entry -

Kilroy M. writes:

If what we’ve witnessed over the last century has been the concession of the right (for lack of a better term) to the left (for lack of a better term) on the basic fundamentals, then there has been no synthesis at all, thus no real dialectic. Modern Western history has been a string of conversions to the revolutionary antithesis.

Aaron S. writes:

There are, famously (notoriously?), the “right Hegelians,” though this position was, and is, a natural loser. It depends upon thinking that some present arrangement, or set of arrangements, is the goal of history. That’s a tough sell in any circumstance, but seems to be a recurring temptation of political discourse. Fukuyaman neo-conservatism is an instance of this; it is a revival of the “right Hegelian” program under Anglo-capitalist auspices.

Since dialectic is meant to bring us the absolute, it is incumbent on the right-Hegelian to demonstrate that all possible contradictions have already appeared and been resolved—this is a natural playground for fanatics, as we’ve been seeing.

I think this is the best way to see neoconservatism: right-liberalism having disposed of its skeptical premises, jumping wholeheartedly into a hermetic dogma. Without that self-contained quality, as you’ve been demonstrating, the “dialectical synthesis” would tend inevitably to undermine, not to validate—at least insofar as one participant keeps pushing against the status quo.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 16, 2011 06:34 AM | Send

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