Thursday, July 07, 2011

Islam the Alien

For me, most science fiction stories have a credibility problem. But the one branch of it whose premise I have always rejected is that alien life could be both malevolent and technologically advanced enough to embark on interstellar conquests. Films such as Predator and Independence Day – just two of the more popular instances of the genre among many – portray aliens stalking man as a species of game or subjugating or extinguishing him. The premise that projects the possibility of these creatures is that a preeminently hostile, anti-life-form could somehow apply reason to create spaceships and sophisticated weaponry.

However, life-forms so malevolent would never rise from the rank swamps that bred them to go zipping around star systems and blasting planets to atoms. Malevolence is not a progenitor of innovation or creation. It is fundamentally a parasite and can thrive only on a passive or willing host. Reason is not an attribute or a handmaiden of evil. Evil in fact can only exploit the products of reason, but never originate them. Evil men or evil aliens may exhibit intelligence, but not reason. They can exploit what reason has caused to exist, but never bring it into existence

Ugly predators and slimy aliens that can invent cloaking devices and disintegrating rays are possible in imagination only because of a fantastic, and possibly even fatal, fallacy. Their creators – and their fans – assume that reason is not the natural antithesis and enemy of anti-reason, but a morally neutral faculty that can ally itself with anti-reason in campaigns of conquest and death.

Not so coincidentally, the fallacy also explains the left’s hostility to freedom and capitalism. Capitalists, they say, have the freedom to employ reason to create things, and then use their profits to establish power and enslave everyone.

Sharks, rattlesnakes, Komodo dragons, wolves, and other predators are not inherently evil. They do what nature has programmed them to do, without any choice in their struggles for existence. No moral decisions are involved in their actions. Their values are predetermined. They lack the attribute of volition, that is, the capacity to think or not to think, to choose what will sustain and improve their lives and what will not.

A malevolent intelligence is not a contraction in terms. Else how to explain all the real and fictional villains in history and literature, from Hitler to Professor Moriarty, from Attila the Hun to Ellsworth Toohey? Or Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his threatened nuclear weapons? But a malevolent adherent to reason, like the aliens in Predator and Independence Day, is a psychological, metaphysical and philosophical contradiction. In nature, the teleology of such alien creatures is impossible.

A malevolent intelligence may succeed in finding comfort in a social and material environment created by reason, and be able to exploit its victims’ innocence, foolishness, or ignorance. But without reason having created such a world, it would remain a miserable prisoner in the dank, fetid jungle it was born in, never able to conceive of anything better, unable by its nature to look up at the stars, content with its surroundings, and concerned only with its next meal. Thomas Hobbes’ notion of man at war is equally and more realistically applicable to the actual existence of would-be predator space aliens in their basic mode: solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

Which leads me to Islam.

Islam is a malevolent, ideational predator bent on conquest. It demands conversion, submission, or death. Left to its own devices, Islam would have remained contained by and confined to its own impotence whence it came, the Mideast, in Saudi Arabia. It would be a bubonic rat that squeaked but which would otherwise be quarantined by its own irrationality, and by reason.

But what has given Islam its purported potency to wreck havoc in the world? It is a philosophy burdened with the same fallacy that allows science fiction writers to believe that reason can ally with anti-reason and act of its own accord. In past columns I have likened Islam to a drooling beast, to the Borg, to a viral disease, and to other entities closed to reason, proof against freedom, and dedicated to destruction for destruction’s sake. .

Pragmatic policies in the West allowed the nomadic, primitive Saudis and other tribalists to nationalize the oil which Western technology discovered and developed in the barren wastes over which they had been butchering each other and other tribes for millennia. Environmentalist policies that prohibit oil drilling allow smug tribalists to make extortion a practical policy. Pragmatic policies allowed Muslims to immigrate to semi-free, semi-rational cultures and proceed to complete the sabotaging disease of irrationality. Pragmatism sired moral and cultural relativism that forbids moral judgment of Islam’s barbarism and its incipient, cradle-to-grave psychosis. Appropriating the mantle of “religious freedom” – call it a “cloaking device,” if you will – and exploiting the foolishness and irrationality of their enemies, Islamic activists in three-piece suits and armed with unlimited funds work obsessively to erase freedom for all but Muslims.

Pragmatism fosters the growth of a police state whose managers and minions, in the name of political correctness and non-discrimination, will not identify Islam as a predatory ideology (that would be evidence of “Islamaphobia,” and “offensive”), and proceed to subject and inure a country’s citizens to the invasive ministrations of arbitrary searches, seizures, and incarceration on the chance that they might catch a bomber whose motives will not be linked to Islam. Their policy, designed to not offend Muslims but all non-Muslims, is to hope to find a scimitar in an infinite haystack. The Department of Homeland Security is headed by a multiculturalist friendly to Islam, while the TSA is staffed by tens of thousands of non-entities empowered to grope, violate, molest, rob, and hold judgment over private citizens in the name of “safety.”

The anti-profiling policies of the DHS and TSA are anti-reason, and anti-Aristotelian, and as “alien” as the ends of a Predator or shapeless alien piloting five-mile-wide spaceships.

Islam is such a unique, unprecedented peril that one ignores it at one’s own peril. There is the double peril of Obama, Pelosi, et al. (and the generations of collectivist thought behind them) wanting to “transform” the country into a secular State of Servitude (no pun intended), and of Islam, whose spokesmen are at work insinuating its brand of totalitarianism into the country via “religious freedom,” but whose purpose is also to “transform” the country into another kind of State of Servitude. In this teleological end Islamists have a willing ally, the secular totalitarians.

Saul Alinsky, meet Sheikh Ahmad Gad of the Muslim Brotherhood, another malevolent intelligence.

Islam is a radically different matter. None of the other religious groups in America – whether they are composed largely of immigrants or of tenth generation blacks or whites or Asians or Eskimos -- expects the other creeds to defer to it. Muslims and Islam, however, expect everyone to defer to Islam. Islam is an enemy of individualism. Islam is imbued with a code of conduct that is fundamentally barbaric and concrete-bound and too often murderous. Sharia is not just a primitive system of adjudication; it is also, and inherently, political. It does not recognize the world beyond that insular system, except as something to assimilate into its system, or to erase.

The corrupting norms of multiculturalism have vastly aided Muslims in their not having to knuckle under secular law and having to stop murdering wayward daughters and wives and sons who become apostates. Furthermore, feminists, liberals, leftists in and out of academia ignore the outrages committed by Muslims in the name of Islam – the continuing rapes of ‘infidel” women in Europe and the Mideast by Muslims, the stonings, hangings, and executions of men and women who flout Islamic rules, the persecution and murders of Christians, Jews, Hindus in the name of Islam, and so on – because they recognize Islam as a bird of the same feather – a totalitarian system that shares similar premises, methods, and ends. Criticism of rival totalitarians might inadvertently lead to criticism of their own anti-reason and anti-life policies. Call the phenomenon a Collectivist-Islamic Non-Aggression Pact.

Predatory “aliens” need not come from outer space. There are two species of them right here on earth, both exercising their malevolent intelligences to advance their dual agendas of conquest, slavery, and destruction. They are merely rivals, and not antipodes of each other.

As Gilliatt did in Victor Hugo’s compelling novel, Toilers of the Sea, as he was being enveloped by an octopus’s arms, and as the creature’s flesh-tearing beak struggled to strike him, we need to free ourselves from Islamic jihad not by cutting off its arms: but its head. Only reason and rationality can accomplish that end. That done, the arms will go limp and release us to pursue our life-affirming values in freedom without peril or hindrance. It is the ideology that must be damned, renounced, repudiated, and defeated, with no apologies or regrets, and not its surface manifestations.

Then we will have the time to turn our attention to performing the same surgery on the secular totalitarian ideology that also seeks to vanquish this country.

30 comments:

Damien said...

Edward Cline,

I see multiple problems with your essay.

Take for example Nazi Germany. It was for its time very technologically advanced, despite being a brutal totalitarian dictatorship, and if only one or two thing had happened differently, it could have conquered Europe and won World War 2. What if Hitler had listened the advice he was given from his loyal generals who were experienced in waging war than he was?

Also, it was the soviet union that put the first object into space. It was a satellite called Sputnik. The soviets also had multiple missions to the moon, and in a parallel universe they could have been the first to put a man on the Moon instead of the United States.

Soviet Lunar Missions

Yet the Soviet Union was still a dictatorship.

Islamic States maybe backwards in general, and there is a lot of truth to what you're saying when it comes to Islam. Islamic fundamentalists, like all fundamentalists are going to be hostile to science whenever science contradicts their religions views. But its just wishful thinking to say that technological advancement is only possible in a peaceful and free society.

Even in the medieval era, when all of Europe was a brutal Christian theocracy and the overwhelming majority of people could not read, there was still some technological advancement. As you would imagine, given the violent nature of medieval Europe, most of it was in the field of warfare. For example armor from the late middle ages was a little bit more advanced than armor from the early middle ages. This happened even through just about every aspect of medieval European society was almost designed to discourage such innovation. Yet some technological advancement did happen in that part of the world at that time. I even remember seeing a documentary or two on medieval technology, and I found out that in some ways, it was more advanced than I originally thought.

If advanced extraterrestrials did come to Earth, I would be worried that they might not be benign. They could well have hostile intent. Such minds as that of the brilignt Stephen Hawking have expressed concern that such beings might be hostile. It is actually a fallacy to assume that technologically advanced, equals peaceful or benign. Even if they would have to be peaceful and cooperative when it came to their own species in order to survive that long, and become advanced enough to cross the galaxy, would that mean that they would not be hostile towards other intelligent species, including ones that created civilizations? The advanced extraterrestrial race might have even been orginally united by force, where the most ruthless group, simply crushed every other group.

Also in the end what's to stop one individual from arbitrarily rejecting reason in one area, and embracing it in another? Also what's to stop a group of people from doing that? There's also nothing to stop a person from holding contradictory beliefs simultaneously. People do that all the time, especially if they openly reject reason.

Damien said...

Edward Cline,

Also what the west in general has been doing as of late with regards to Islam, is not very pragmatic. Its largely the opposite of pragmatic, its wishful thinking and not being willing to deal with reality.

Damien said...

Here's an example of a more pragmatic approach

Culturism: A Word, A Value, Our Future

Edward Cline said...

There are no problems with the essay. Remember that the governments of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union (and also of Imperial Japan, and Fascist Italy), did not "originate" or create anything, but rather they used and exploited technology that was already in existence, or that was developed for them by their myriad Dr. Stadlers. So, all your examples are extraneous.

Malevolent intelligences DO NOT and CANNOT create anything; they exploit what alredy exists, or what active minds are willing to give them. Malevolent intelligences are "feral." Why do you think Rand chose for the name of the "valet" of the State Science Institute, "Dr. Ferris"? (Although she could have been thinking of the Ferris Wheel, to suggest his circular argumentation.)

Ed

Edward Cline said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention all the stolen technology handed dictatorships by spies, both miliary and commerical technology. For a first rate history of that, see Anthony Sutton's "Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development," a classic in the genre.

Ed

Damien said...

Edward Cline,

If there was anyone who devoloped new technology or improved upon old technology, while living in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, and that person supported either one of those totalitarian ideologies volentarily, one of your main points is refuted. The people running the goverments themselves may not have created anything, but people working for them volentarily clearly did, and at least some of them lived in those societies, and in some cases where genuine supporters of those slave states.

Why for example was the Soviet Union able to launch something into space prior to any other society, if what you're saying is true? How did such a "malevolent intelligence" as you put it manage to do that, if they do not and cannot create anything? Clearly someone living in the Soviet Union designed that thing, and nothing like it had existed before.

I also found an webpage on some important technological advancements that took place under the Nazi regime in Germany, and it does not look like some Nazi propaganda site.

World War 2:
German "vengeance weapons"


I've also seen entire documentaries on military technology developed by the Axis powers. Granted the leadership of those societies did not devolope anything themselves, but at least some people working for them, living in their societies did, and mostly likely those scientists suported the regime, or were indiffernt and were creating the new weapons becouse they were being paid to do so.

Also how do you explain, even what little technological advancement there was during the Middle Ages in Europe? It may have been at a snails' pace, especially compared to today, but it still happened. There were no liberal democracies, republics or capitalist societies back than, even out side of Europe. Every society was either a tribal society or a monarchy during that time period.

Thanks for the book recommendation by the way. I think I'll look up Anthony Sutton's.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

I am thinking of the Mongolian invasions. They subdued northern China, Russia, most of Central Asia on the first round, and would likely have made inroads into Europe if Ghengis Khan had not died. His sons and grandsons conquered Constantinople, Persia and other parts of the former Caliphate, as well as southern China and Vietnam. Their empire lasted about 200 years. They were parasites on the civilizations of others--where ever they went, they destroyed the cities and killed most of the people quite brutally, sparring only the craftsmen, artists, and scribes, taking them back to Mongolia as slaves. They fair ruined Russia, and there are many places that were going civilizations at the time that completely ceased to exist. So although malevolent intelligences may not be creative, they can be destructive over long periods of time. This is why it is imperative to oppose Islam's war on the West. We have much to lose.

Damien said...

Elisheva Hannah Levin,

I agree, we definitely have a lot to loose, and that's why I don't want our freedom taken away, and our way of life to be destroyed by religious fanatics.

Anonymous said...

Ed,

Another great essay. But again you are suggesting a prohibition on Muslim immigration. You must know that most Objectivists are insane open borders advocates. I favor non-protectionist immigration and reject all the bullshit protectionist arguments against a free market of labor, but nevertheless realize open immigration is suicidal and letting Muslims in the country is suicidal stupidity at its greatest heights. As much as I love Objectivism, if another fucking Objectivist tells me that prohibiting Muslim immigration is a "violation of individual rights" I think I will spit.

But, let me ask you, how would you argue for prohibition of Muslim immigration in a way that is consistent with political individualism and the non-initiation of physical force principle. Many Conservatives argue it can't be done and that Objectivism is fatally flawed because of it. I think they are wrong, but it is not an easy argument to make at the level of political theory.

Any ideas?

D. Bandler

Edward Cline said...

Elisheva: Thank you for getting my point so quickly.

Ed

Bosch Fawstin said...

Edward,

I see no problems, and many excellent points made in your piece. Great connections all around. Thank you.


Damien,

I see multiple problems with your response, and if you had thought things through, you may have been able to catch them and reconsider posting.

Bill Bucko said...

"There are no problems with the essay. Remember that the governments of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union (and also of Imperial Japan, and Fascist Italy), did not "originate" or create anything, but rather they used and exploited technology that was already in existence, or that was developed for them by their myriad Dr. Stadlers. So, all your examples are extraneous."

What Ed said.

Miss Rand commented, in her 1958 Foreword to "We the Living": "But how can we explain the 'Sputnik'? Read the story of 'Project X' in "Atlas Shrugged."'

Those who see problems with the essay, are seeing them because of their own failure to think in fundamentals. They also ignore many more facts than they name. E.g. why did Soviet agents (as described in the book "East Minus West Equals Zero" approach American technology companies and ask to buy "two of EVERYTHING"? Why weren't Americans trying to copy Soviet technology? Why were Soviet fighter jets using vacuum tubes, years after American jets were using transistors?

Bill B.

Anonymous said...

D. Bandler...In answer to your question about Objectivists and open immigration....who said they were Objectivists? Objectivism is based on looking at reality and acting accordingly...not ignoring or evading reality. Those who cannot grasp proper context and fail to see the forest for the trees are not Objectivists.

T. Carter

Edward Cline said...

Sultan Knish (who usually agrees with my articles) expressed reservations about my assertions about the impotence of malevolent intelligences. He cited their mastering the science of mechanics. I answered:

My point is that the science of mechanics (or of nuclear fuels, etc.), must have been created first, before a malevolent intelligence could appropriate it for its own ends. But a banana slug or a shark or a grizzly bear isn't going to discover the principles of mechanics or any other scientific or technological advance.

The Nazis, for example, did not invent Zikon gas with which to kill Jews in the fake showers; the chemical was invented by a private firm which sold it to the Nazis. I recommended to one critic of my piece on Rule of Reason that he acquire Anthony C. Sutton's "Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development," which is a 3 or 4 volume study of how the Soviets stole, bought, or emulated especially Western military technology and were responsible for not one innovation or invention. The knock-offs of the American space shuttle and the British-French Concorde are notable examples.

A dictatorship that prohibits independent thought can claim nothing new, except perhaps disastrous policies, such as the bogus Lysenko theory that led to unprecedented crop failures. Any facility for mechanical reasoning, moreover, is mentally compartmentalized, and subsidiary to the ends of a malevolent intelligence. That is my main point.

Edward Cline said...

D. Bandler: I differ with the “official” Objectivist position on Muslim and Mexican immigration, which I do not believe is realistic or takes into account some important factors. The question of free immigration is exacerbated by the existence of a welfare state and by other statist policies. The “official” Objectivist position argues from the premise that this is still a free country, when it is barely a semi-free one. While many Mexicans flee their stagnant and statist country for ours in pursuit of better lives based on their own efforts, too many others come here and immediately join the various welfare rolls, from federal education subsidies to the food-stamp program and medical care and so on. Mexico is not a friend of the U.S., as Canada can be said to be.

Notice that there are no border patrols or fences on the Mexican side to keep Mexicans in Mexico; that is because it has been Mexican government policy to let potential trouble-making Mexicans go, and also so they’re not ballast on the Mexican welfare state. If the U.S. abolished the welfare state – or at least made the system much less “game-able” by “undocumented” aliens – we would see many more Mexicans who sought freedom and far fewer of the parasitical ones. But I have never heard any “official” Objectivist make these observations and reach these conclusions.

Furthermore, official U.S. immigration policies have over the decades become blatantly racist, favoring immigrants from “third world” countries and discriminating against immigrants from developed nations. The late Ted Kennedy, for example, is responsible for much of the legislation that governs and defines INS policies. If you are a white Caucasian European with demonstrable skills and a proven education, your chances of being allowed to settle in the U.S. and attain citizenship are far less than if you are a Muslim with no skills and no education. With luck, the European or Russian or Asian will get a work visa or some kind of qualified residency. Then he must “game” the system with the hope of attaining citizenship. I’ve lost count of the number of Britons, Frenchmen, Scandinavians, Russians I happen to know who waited years to legally attain citizenship, but who report that every time they turn around they encounter Muslims or Mexicans or other “third worlders” who got their citizenship in under a year, who can barely speak English yet drive cars and collect welfare checks.

The government is reluctantly admitting, moreover, that Muslims are coming into this country via Mexico, and that they are likely jihadists. But the whole issue of immigration sits in a gray area because the U.S. is a welfare state that attracts flies, and also because we are in a state of undeclared war with Islamic states. I’ve written on the peril of not acknowledging Islam as a hostile ideology in the past, so I won’t dwell on it here.

Damien said...

Bosch,

You Wrote,

"I see multiple problems with your response, and if you had thought things through, you may have been able to catch them and reconsider posting."

Okay, fine, what were they?

Damien said...

Edward Cline,

"A dictatorship that prohibits independent thought can claim nothing new, except perhaps disastrous policies, such as the bogus Lysenko theory that led to unprecedented crop failures. Any facility for mechanical reasoning, moreover, is mentally compartmentalized, and subsidiary to the ends of a malevolent intelligence. That is my main point."

Dictatorships maybe intolerant of beliefs that contradicts the official ideology, but that doesn't mean that they eliminate all independent thought what soever. Extreme dictatorships that stifle independent thought do tend to progress slowly, becouse all technological advancement comes from thinking outside the box, but that doesn't mean that people living under them, never invent anything at all.

You still haven't responded to my sputnik example, which clearly was an object that was invented by people working in Soviet Union for the Soviet Union. Not to mention all the technological progress that took place at times when there no liberal societies, prior to the enlightment.

Also it was the soviet Union who first put a man into space, not the United States or Europe that first put a man into space. It was clearly the Soviet Union, not the United States that started the space race.

Yuri Gagarin: First Man in Space

The flight of Vostok 1

Vostok 1 - first spacecraft in history

Vostok: Dawn of Human Space Flight

Again, who did they steal the technology to do this from? It simply did not exist before someone in the Soviet Union invented it.

Edward Cline said...

Damien: This is my absolute last response: The Soviet space program you cite here was based on the work on German (Nazi) rocket scientists the Soviets took to Russia, which in turn was based on the development of ICBM's. And the work of the German rocket scientists who weren't captured by the Soviets worked for the Nazis to develop long range weaponry, i.e., the V1 and V2 rockets. As for aircraft, these same scientists developed the first stealth bomber and a superior fighter plane, actually a jet -- all products of minds that were willing to please their masters, who produced nothing, created nothing.

Damien said...

Edward Cline,

I never said the dictators themselves created anything. If that's what were getting at than yeah. I don't know of any dictator who invented a new piece of technology. If that's all that you were trying to get at than I misunderstood you.

However, it didn't sound that way to me.

regardless, I still think your thinking is flawed here. It doesn't really matter if the dictators themselves invented anything. Even most politicions in democratic society do not invent any new technology.

Let's go back to what you said about extraterrestrials.
Even if what you say is true about the dictators themselves inventing nothing, there is still a good reason to think that a technologically advanced alien civilization, might not be friendly. It could still be a dictatorship and it could still be hostile, because even if their leaders didn't create the technology, to cross the stars and conquer humanity, others working for them, could have. What makes you so certain that other members of their species wouldn't be willing to invent those things for their masters?

Things like the Soviet Space program actually prove my point there. In addition, Nazi Germany was a dictatorship as well, as the Soviet Union.

I'm also a science fiction fan, and I do enjoy those alien invasion stories, probably more than you do, but I hope you're right about real extraterrestrials with advanced technology being peaceful. Unfortunately, I think we have good reason to be afraid. The Predator and the genocidal creatures in Indepence are actually far more plausible than either of us would like them to be.

Bosch Fawstin said...

Damien,

Edward said it all, in his piece and now in his responses to you. I suggest you reread the piece and think it through.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ed, for a very thought provoking article, as usual. It is obvious that forced advancement of technology cannot last. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany could not survive under this cloud of malevolence. I agree completely that no highly advanced civilization could master the technology of space travel and not develop some concept of benevolence and individual rights.
My earliest recollections of questioning the concept of god was when I heard and observed the requirement for "worship". A high intelligence who knew all and was all powerful but required worship and was jealous? Where was the benevolence with that "advanced" entity? I immediately thought that if this bastard existed, he should be overthrown, but naturally this leads to the knowledge that no such flawed entity could exist. In short, to me, technology and intelligence would have to lead to benevolence in the real world. Any forced advancement forwarded by duped slaves would be short lived and has been.

T Carter

Michael said...

Damien

The Soviet Union was riding on the momentum of a better time. When all the old guard started dying their prowess went with it and much of what they had was also stolen, too, initially from Germany (itself riding on a similar momentum) and later from the West generally speaking.

Slade Calhoun said...

Another point: Perverse as it sounds, fundamentalist Islam--and there is no other kind--makes Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union look like modern, life-affirming, science-worshipping utopias. (That may be overstating the case a bit, but you get the drift.) About alien cultures, I cannot speak. I'll leave that to the nerds and tattoo artists who admire the current sci-fi hallucinations. Mr. Cline's piece had a theme, and it was well-served.

Manfred F. Schieder said...

Mr. Cline's article impressed me as an Objectivist speaking of an Objectivist world, where only well-meaning beings invent and produce well-meaning products. As an Objectivist myself, I hedge the same positive sentiments.
Unfortunately, we don't live in an Objectivist world, though, hopefully, mankind will sometime. In the meantime, we live in a killing area, with killing people killing other killing people.
Arthur C. Clarke, the great SF writer, put it quite correctly in one of his scientific essays, reminding us that, apart from savages killing other savages, more advanced civilizations have ALWAYS killed more backward ones, like the Spaniards killing the Indios, Aztecs, Mayas, etc. and the English speaking and further European immigrants annihilating the American Indians.
How will the interstellar foreigners behave? Will they behave civilly (I shun the word "civilized" in view of the foregoing examples)?

Edward Cline said...

Manfred: Re your contention that advanced civilizations “kill off” or “annihilate” less advanced ones. This is a multicultural fallacy. One can score the Spaniards for going on a looting expedition in South and Central America, but overall the European settlement of the Americas was a matter of displacement, not homicide. That multicultural premise would lead one to the illogical conclusion that Europeans should have just waited offshore for the Indians, Aztecs, et al., or the “aboriginals” to catch up with European ideas of law, private property, technology, etc. , which, of course, would never have happened, as the Indians, Aztecs, et al. were comfortable in their stagnation and resisted new ideas at every turn. The chief fault of U.S. Indian policy is that it recognized tribes as “nations,” and devised the reservation policy. I suggest that you read Book Three of my Sparrowhawk series, and see what advice Hugh Kenrick, the hero, gives to Crown lieutenant-governor Fauquier regarding the Indian problem. He expresses the proper policy the Crown (and later the U.S.) ought to have adopted to deal with a people who had no sense of individualism, property, or law.

Anonymous said...

After a thorough inspection Goddard was convinced that the Germans had "stolen" his work. Though the design details were not the same, the basic design of the V-2 was similar to one of Goddard's rockets. The V-2, however, was technically far more advanced than the most successful of the rockets designed and tested by Goddard. The Peenemünde rocket group led by Wernher von Braun may have benefited from the pre-1939 contacts to a limited extent, but had also started from the work of their own space pioneer, Hermann Oberth; they also had the benefit of intensive state funding as a war project, large-scale production facilities (using slave labor), and repeated flight testing that allowed them to refine their designs. Nonetheless, in 1963, von Braun, reflecting on the history of rocketry, said of Goddard: "His rockets...may have been rather crude by present-day standards, but they blazed the trail and incorporated many features used in our most modern rockets and space vehicles."

c. andrew

Damien said...

Anonymous,

Well, thanks for the important information, but do you have a source? What you are claiming to be true, is not common knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ed,

Your point about the malevolent intelligence being feral and unable to innovate beyond the range of the moment is well taken. For those who are having trouble grasping this and using incidental advances in totalitarian dictatorships as counter evidence, consider this; Those slaves are still human and the fact that they innovate independently is an example of the failure of the totalitarian state to control them. The vast majority of what came out of the Soviet Union was the result of theft, espionage and imitation. They dismantled entire factories in the satellite countries as well as Germany proper and shipped them back to Russia because it was easier to transport a factory than it was to build one with Russian intellectual and economic infrastructure as it was.

I don't remember the Mig series, but there was one where they didn't maintain or repair the engines; there was too much variance between parts so when an engine went down they swapped it out whole. Once again, I don't remember the specific numbers but they were lucky to get 100 hours of operating time per engine.

Ed's column was addressing the imagined alien mind where malevolence was as much an attribute or more so than reason was. He then segued into totalitarian philosophies who would, were they omnipotent, compel their adherents into the same condition. To the extent that they succeed (and have no better minds to plunder from) they are reduced to a hard-scrabble nomadic existence. The occasional individual who arises and innovates represents the failure of that system; it is not an instance of the totalitarian system's "success."

c. andrew

Anonymous said...

Damien,

I read that originally from a biography of Robert Goddard in grade school.

Here is a link that recaps some of that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Goddard#V-2

c. andrew

Manfred F. Schieder said...

Mr. Cline: I am no multiculturalist myself. This instance of how Spaniards and non-Spaniards dealt with Indios and Indians is one of those “cross overs” where people with opposing views happen, by chance, to have not the same but merely similar viewpoints leading to identical outcomes. The Spaniards met the local Indios as conquerors (Conquistadores)and then proceeded in a way not at all different from how the non-Spaniards met the American Indians as colonizers. Conquerors and colonizers started from opposing viewpoints, but handled the given situation in the same way. Both came to take over territory and the possibilities new territories offer and both proceeded based on “territoriality”. Against Ayn Rand’s comment that Indians had no knowledge of “property rights,” they did know the basics of it: territoriality, the behavior pattern exhibited by an animal in defending its territory. So much for “displacement,” not homicide.
Moreover, I don’t agree with the “multicultural premise” that Europeans should have waited for the Indians to catch up with the European ideas of law, etc. What laws? The laws of Inquisition? What private property? Feudalism ruled at that time. Do I think that the Indians would have behaved differently with the Europeans if they had discovered Europe instead of the other way round? Not at all. All savages behave the same with other savages.