MORAL IMPERATIVE: CORRECT THINKING
Abstract: Correct Thinking is a moral imperative. Acting correctly is a completely different moral imperative from thinking correctly. Thus a modern morality will focus first on correct thinking, Philosophically Correct thinking (PhC), which is often the exact opposite of PC (Politically Correct). Socrates’ tragic fate is all about the distinction between PhC and PC. Socrates practiced PhC, and that violated PC.
As Correct Thinking costs little, and is preliminary, I advocate it as a moral imperative, independently of the prospect of turning it into action. That’s why I am sometimes in agreement, on very precise points, with Putin, Bush, Stalin, Hitler, or even Rousseau or Hume.
This is not an easy essay, because, in the end, a distinction emerges similar to that between mathematics and metamathematics, and the notion of Thought Crime, the building of a guilty neurology, appears. It is to Mens Rea what mathematics is mathematics, or any metalogic, to logic. But, with an important difference: a neurology is a physical object, so building a guilty neurology is a meta Actus Reus.
The butchery in Syria confuses critters with weaker minds (this is why Putin is cutting through them as a hot knife in butter: Putin, being simple and brutal, is not confused). The confusion is understandable: half a million people killed, just because the no major Western power had the guts to come in (say from Lebanon), and by air, and take out the hereditary Assad dictatorship. The way things are going, one can expect millions of people killed.
There are those who don’t mind, because for them, a dead Syrian is a liberated Syrian. There are much more people who hate war, and conflict in general, so they prefer not to think about it. That attitude has been encouraged by the plutocrats and the media they own, and the books they publish: if people fear conflicts, they will have none with plutocrats, and plutocracy will grow. London is the number one financial center in the world, thus friendly to Assad’s plutocratic family, and was not interested in attacking what feeds it. That left the USA and France to dispose of Assad, but Obama did not have the balls. At the last minute.
Thus a course in moral catastrophe was engaged, which Roger Cohen justly condemns (see Syrian White Rose).
Philip Gordon was for a few years Obama’s “Special Assistant to the Greater Middle East, now he is “Senior Fellow at the . Gordon mixes up not just completely different, but even antagonistic notions: He claims: “In Iraq, the U.S. intervened and occupied, and the result was a costly disaster. In Libya, the U.S. intervened and did not occupy, and the result was a costly disaster. In Syria, the U.S. neither intervened nor occupied, and the result is a costly disaster.”
You, Gordon, and your ilk, are a costly disaster. Either you confuse everything, or you are a liar, or, more probably, both, because your brain is lazy, and you believe you can get away with it morally. Well, I say you are a sinner, and I am happy the USA bombed the Islamists in Libya today (precision strike which destroyed a building full of foreign ISIL Islamists).
It’s a shame that this sort of idiocy is quoted with approval everywhere (all the way to France by Lea Salame’). Equating the perverse, mass murdering invasion of Iraq by the USA, and the saintly, delicate, punctual French intervention in Libya, is not just idiotic, but a thought crime. (Coming from one of Obama’s own advisers shows, clearly, that we don’t need to have an extreme right wing American plutocratic president to have perversity in command.)
As a reminder: the USA invaded Iraq because of greed and satanic rage. Once there, it violated massively the Geneva Convention by firing the entire Iraqi army (some of it is now the core of the Islamist State), and dismantling the state ), while not enforcing order (hence the theft of museums and archeological sites among other depredations) All this is explicitly outlawed by the Geneva Convention.
In Syria the French Air Force intervened and destroyed the dictator’s tank army reaching the suburbs of Benghazi. The USA intervened several hours later by taking out the Libyan overall air defense system (the French had taken out the mobile anti-aircraft systems of the tank army by using the full capability of the Rafale and its Spectre system made by Thales).
I was the first (I know of) who advocated to take out Qaddafi (plutocratic philosopher BHL followed later).
There was a butchery in Iraq, there is one in Syria, there was none in Libya (Qaddafi and his goons were taken out). Libya, gigantic country and one of the oldest civilization, with the oldest alphabet still in use, has to free itself of its Muslim past.
Now I will explain why Obama’s attack on the Islamist State in Libya today was Philosophically Correct (PhC).
Having The Right Mind Comes Is Necessary, Prior & Distinct From Committing The Right Action:
In the last 25 centuries, Western Law, written in Latin learned to distinguish “Mens Rea” (Guilty Mind) and “Actus Reus” (Guilty Act). To be guilty in the eyes of the law, one has to have made a guilty act, with a guilty mind. Actus reus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, which means “the act is not culpable unless the mind is guilty”.
That distinction, fundamental to law, should be extended to morality. It is difficult to commit an innocent act, if one does not have an innocent mind.
There are two fundamental realms, two fundamental modes of behavior: the mental and the actual. It is important to distinguish them. In the first one, one learns to think correctly. In the second, one behaves correctly, accordingly. The mental always comes before the actual..
The distinction is important, and eminently practical because, confronted to evil, people often say:”What can I do?” Then they conclude that they can do nothing, and thus, should put the subject out of their mind.
Actually, once they learn to distinguish the mental and the actual, they can do something: they can learn, and think correctly, and learn to think correctly. Prior to any physical action, one has to have have a correct mentality.
One can be in a wheelchair, unable to act, and still one is able to think correctly to the best of one’s ability.
To be human in the mental realm is to find and tell the truth to the best of one’s ability. To ignore the truth, to refuse to search for it, is inhuman. In the mental realm, doing nothing to know evil, is doing everything to encourage it.
How Establishing Guilty Neurology Becomes A Crime:
When the Romans thought of “Mens Rea”, the guilty mind, they had no idea of how the mind worked. Now we do. Building a neurology is an act. Building a guilty neurology is a guilty act.
To come back to the case of Philip Gordon: he is a typical thought criminal, his mind has failed to make crucial distinctions: Iraq = Libya, France = G. W. Bush. And he is intelligent enough to make these distinctions (meta mens rea). Yet he refuses to make them although this has grave consequences (Actus Reus by creating guilty neurological circuitry). Then he uses this all together (concurrence), to further his career (greed through thought criminal intent).