Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Briefly Revisiting the Term "Neo-Con" and its Usage:
(With Christopher Blosser)

This is a partial response to the article Christopher posted to his Religion and Liberty weblog. His words will be in black font.

Given the twists and turns in the understanding of 'neocon' over the decades, it is my contention that when the 'neocon' label is liberally applied without proper clarification or qualification, it easily becomes an impediment to the discussion and only adds to readers' confusion.

This is especially the case when whole groups of individuals, publications, or organizations are lumped together..

As you may know Chris, I mentioned this subject in an audioposting in late October.{1} My guess is that those who wield this terminology have no interest in actually setting forth identifying parameters for what a so-called "neo-con" is because that would mean they had to exercise the thinking mechanism and would be subjecting not a few of their usages of the term and its derivatives to a kind of scrutiny they do not want to have to deal with. All one needs to see as evidence of this viewpoint is how readily they flee from the simplest of accountability for their own public statements.{2} If they are not willing to answer some pretty elementary questions about their own oft-reiterated public proclamations{3}, then it would be no small stretch to presume that they would be willing to respond to the request I noted in the aforementioned audipost above.

Another way of saying it is this: I am not surprised by their evasions Chris. Hopefully in time they will recognize that authentic dialogue{4} is not possible with how they approach these matters. But then again, I have my suspicions that they have no interest in dialogue anyway based on the pattern of habitual evasion they have thus far engaged in.


{1} Miscellaneous Morning Musings on Blogging, the So-Called "Neo-Cons", and the Miers Nomination--An Audio Post (circa October 27, 2005)

{2} On Stephen Hand and Certain Statements He Needs to Account For (circa October 6, 2005)

{3} --Viz. Issue 1, there are several points which need a response from Mr. Hand. They can all be summarized in Greg's recent question to Mr. Hand [...]. However, for the sake of greater exactness, I want to note the others which pertain to the latter. They are (i) a public request from me for Mr. Hand to clarify once and for all if Pope John Paul II's position on the war -which seems to be mirrored by his successor Pope Benedict XVI- constitutes Church teaching or not and (ii) should he answer in the negative on the matter, Mr. Hand needs to make it clear that he accepts the position on the matter that the Church does with the proper disposition of mind and in the future reflect this realization accordingly in his writings and statements on the subject in question.

If Mr. Hand responds to my request in the affirmative, he is called upon to produce the magisterial texts to support to support his usage of authoritative language and also to support his reference to the war issue as "grave" and justify this usage in light of the doctrinal clarifications of the present pope on these matters when he was chief theologian for the previous pope.

---Viz. Issue 2, Mr. Hand needs to explain (i) why he continues to parrot discredited statistics as he does and (ii) why anyone should take him seriously as a credible commentator on these issues in light of his continual parrotting of said discredited statistics.

---Viz. Issue 3, Mr. Hand also has to explain why he continues for ideological reasons to flout the teachings of Pope Benedict XV on the use of derisive labels as he does.

---Viz. Issue 4, Mr. Hand needs to explain why he reads into the words of Cardinal Ratzinger (on Pope John Paul II's view being one "of conscience enlightened by faith) sentiments not expressed by him. Furthermore, it would be nice if Mr. Hand could explain to us in light of what I have noted in this posting from Catholic sources[...] how his manifested views on just war (viz. who is the competent authority to assess the evidences and ultimately levy such a war) are at all congruent with the totality of the Catholic just war tradition. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa October 6, 2005)]

{4} Miscellaneous Musings on Dialogue--An Audio Post (circa October 6, 2005)

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Points to Ponder:
(On Dreamers)

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recess of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible. [T. E. Lawrence]