Saturday, August 15, 2015

Who went and made Kelly an conservative-libertarian-anarchocurious goofball?

The list of people I have listened to, read, watched in action and spoken to, who I consider my "mentors" along my political (and apolitical) journey, includes but is not limited to the list you will find if you click "more" below.

 Since my way of thinking emphasizes liberty, personal responsibility, the lethal properties of welfare, problems of democracy, lies of Communism, dangers of the State, and the non-aggression principle, I've indicated which of these topics each "mentor" has led me in.  They are not necessarily in alphabetical or influential order.  I have not included any of the friends, writers, and professors who led me to the psychosis of Marxism earlier,  before I was freed from the chains of his philosophy;  but I might tackle that in a later post.

Once again, here are the people whose teachings, writings or example helped shape my current opinions (I would highly recommend any of the authors, bloggers, podcasters, or entertainers listed, by the way):

My  mother and father (responsibility) (liberty)

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, author of theMoynihan Report ("On the Negro Family"),  (the lethal properties of welfare)

My first social work supervisor (Betty)  (lethal properties of welfare)

Being a foster care worker in Detroit (lethal properties of welfare)

Locke  (liberty)

John Stuart Mill  and the idea of the "tyranny of the majority" (problems of democray)

Vaclav Havel, late president of the Czech Republic (liberty)

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Soviet dissident, gulag-illuminator, author of "The Gulag Archepelego"
 ( liberty)

Going to social work school at UM *(lethal properties of welfare) (problems of democracy)

Ron Paul  (former Republican senator, ex-Presidential candidate)  (lethal properties of welfare), (responsibility)  (dangers of the State)

Ben Stone, or "Bad Quaker" as he was known on his podcast.  He is now a co-caster of the Freedom Feens podcast.  Ben's original podcast gave a thourough and easy-to-follow rundown of the basics of anarchy and the difference between that and conservatism, wimpier libertarianism, and the pretend anarchists of Occupy Wall Street.   (dangers of the State) (No Aggression Principle)

Rush Limbaugh   Nowadays, I often disagree with him.  But as a Clinton-votin' liberal in 1993, I heard one of his send-ups of the President and of the Democrat party and laughed out loud because I had to admit the jokes were spot on.  I still hate how badly he's misquoted and twisted so that the Drive By Media (his term) can keep him as the villain they love to hate...often misinforming the public thereby.  He's still worth a listen, ESPECIALLY if you think you'll disagree with him.  (liberty)  (responsibility)

Dennis Miller  The inventor of  Weekend Edition on Saturday Night Live in the Eighties, the smartest comedian in the country, and someone who came to conservatism down the same routE  as me (Clinton voter, Clinton questioner, Bush yawn-er before 9-11, then conservative on 9-12).  Minarchist but smart and funny.  (liberty) (responsibility) (dangers of the State)

Al Kresta (currently a religious host on Catholic AM radio in Ann Arbor; formerly a political talk show host in Detroit) Actually hated this guy at first when he hosted a show on the local Christian protestant radio station.  Thought he was homophobic and intolerant of others.  And he did have some monologue rants that were kind of painful.  But he was (and is)  a great debater---considerate but very logical and with well thought-out responses.    (responsibility) (lethal properties of welfare)

Pope John Paul II.  I was an atheist when he was first elected, but even then I appreciated his awareness of true suffering in the world and his pre-papal fights against Nazism and Communism in his native Poland.  Ultimately a great Christian example, I believe.   (responsibility)

Tom Lehrer.   Doubled in the 60s and 70s as a musical comedian, singing satire for the masses, and math professor at Harvard.  His interviews revealed him to be on the liberal side, but it was mostly classical liberal.  His satire was a biting condemnation of war, racism, and pollution, and a good-natured ribbing of more hallowed things in the Harvard and the Boy Scouts.  (dangers of the State)

Voltaire  Biting satire.  Just biting, no good natured ribbing.  But funny biting.  His victim:  the church, which, during his lifetime, was the State. (dangers of the State)

Jonathon Swift:  Author of "Gulliver's Travels" and the more disturbing "A Modest Proposal"  (dangers of the State)

Andrei Sakharov  The physicist who developed the hydrogen bomb for the USSR.  Fell out of favor when he began to complain about repression of dissent, then ended up getting exiled himself within the Soviet Union.  Was instrumental in helping and getting foreigh help for a number of dissidents, including Natan Sharansky.   (liberty) (dangers of the State)

Iowahawk --blogger masquerading as Dave Burge, mild mannered guy.  Dave's "Feed Your Family on $10 Billion a Day"    is a classic piece that will make you think AND laugh so hard you cry. (responsibility), (lethal properties of welfare) , (liberty), (dangers of the State)

Ronald Radosh, author of "Red Star Over Hollywood", "Commies", and, along with Joyce Milton, "The Rosenberg File."  (dangers of the State) (lies of Communism)

RFK  Many boomers like me do not know that union-fighter-turned-radical Bobby Kennedy was Joseph McCarthy's right hand man in catchin' Commies.  But in fact he did most of the research that would eventually out the guilty...unfortunately, sometimes along with the innocent.  That's not why he interests me so much.  It's just that he hated Communism with viscerality, and that's a breath of fresh air after you listen to his smarmy son tell people to not drive cars.  (Liberty) (lies of Communism)

Alexis de Tocqueville  Loved the US, but still was able to point out the problems with mob rule--or, as some call it, "democracy."    (Liberty)

Malcolm X  OK, now you're really confused.  Yes he advocated violence.  Yes he could have been called, at one time, a racist, although he seems to have dropped his hatred of whites by the end of his life.  BUT instead of many of the anti-discrimination freedom fighters I had always loved from the 60s, Martin Luther King, for example, or the victimized black people I saw in movies and read about in books--who were always rescued by white people somehow---Malcolm left no doubt that he was taking charge of and responsibility for his own actions.  He wasn't going to wait around for a government to give him permission to have his natural rights.  He was going to assert them and those of his family.  (Liberty) (dangers of the State)

Book of Romans Christian liberty is a little different than the natural rights kind of liberty, but I think my favorite ever book of the Bible gave me a sense that I carried my rights inside myself.  That even if I were ever imprisoned for something I believed in, including my Christian beliefs, and tortured, the very act of my believing, torturers be damned, frees my soul.  (Paul of Tarsus) (Liberty)

Martin Luther  Another Christian example.  In Luther's time, the Bible was everything to the people of the west.  Their lives depended upon it.  But generally they couldn't read it, because they weren't educated, and most of the Bibles were written in Latin.  By the time Luther came along, literacy in native European languages, as well as Latin, had improved well enough that if they had access to a Bible, people could finally read for themselves and understand Jesus' teachings for themselves.  (Yes, the Catholic church had published some Bibles in native languages, but people were still encouraged to get their Bible information strictly from Clerics.  Then Martin and Guttenberg together created a firestorm with their thousands of German bibles and with Martin's insistence that priests have no monopoly on our knowlege about God.  Instead of the priest as a go-between, Martin told us that each of us is responsible for knowing the scriptures and for praying to God.  This was a measure of autonomy that might be hard for an irreligious person to understand, but it's fantastic.  (Liberty) (responsibility)

Michael W. Dean , originator of the multi-hosted Freedom Feens podcast.  Funny, good at teaching, and involved in other projects that make it easier for humans to work with each other without reliance on government, such as the "Feen phone" communication software (Liberty) (dangers of the State) (lies of Communism)

Davi Barker  Contributes to Muslims 4 Liberty and Daily Anarchist.  The first Muslim libertarian I've ever heard.  Not only informs me in the ways of liberty, but also gives a lot of information about his life which soothes my addled brain from all the anti-Muslim rot that exists in conservatism these days (liberty) (dangers of the State) (lies of Communism) (problems of democracy)

Natan Sharansky, former dissedent in the USSR; now politician (Likud) in Israel.  One of Jimmy Carter's refuseniks, who was helped in part by both Carter's and Reagan's calls for Russia to let the poor guy go, OK?   (Liberty), (dangers of the State), (lies of Communism)

M. Scott Peck, author of "The Road Less Travelled," which starts with the line, "Life is hard."  It was a revelation to me during my first job at a psychiatric agency, when I felt so clumsy and inarticulate and unskilled, and was trying to fix that by criticizing and complaining about my boss and whining along with my co-workers.  Scott's book hit home.  To a great extent we choose our paths, and rather than making us feel trapped and mistreated, recognizing the fact that "life is hard"--and that the harder the work you do towards your goals, the better rewards you will generally get--can be liberating. Gave me a better appreciation of my newly recovered Christian faith, and the will to do more than the people around me in order to learn more and ultimately make more!  (responsibility)

Monty Python's Flying Circus...because even if it makes no sense, you can enjoy it and there really are no punch lines in life.+

The Ramones:  because there is really no fade-out in life, either.**
*Unlike the others in this list, UM was a negative factor in my development.  If this was what liberals and Marxists acted like, I wanted nothing to do with them.  

+ OK, so this doesn't have anything to do with anarchism, although in some ways MPFC can be called anarchic .  But one day my sister and I were talking about our love for the show and decided that skits with no punchline probably mirrored the 1970s life we were experiencing in some way.  No punch line. Non sequitor.  It's ok.

** See +, above. 

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