And the headline read....Mannning cowardly backs out!
To vent and editorialize a bit, I must say this.
Why is it that some people expect others to follow implied rules of conduct that they have no intentions of following themselves. If I may be allowed to borrow an anecdote from Daniel Dennett...If you insist on playing tennis with the net lowered, why do you expect me to raise the net back up before returning your volleys. If you really wish to proclaim all is fair in as socially Darwinian stance then have to salt to stand by your convictions as a man, Mr Farrar. Have I somehow been unfair to you.....any more so than you were gratious enough to serve me?
It is not so much that I blame you for retreat. I would back out as well if my argument was found to be as weak as yours, but then, you didn't have to accept the challenge in the first place. I have never promised to be unreasonably polite for any reason. Any person who wishes may read back to the beginning of this argument to find the terms I agreed to abide by and I have not renigged on any point thus far. Have I censured anyone for dissent? Have I not argued my points in an intellectual, and objective manner wherever, whenever possible? The mere fact that I have a subjective opinion makes me human, not a tyrant.
So let us review where your unrefutable proof stands so far that Rousseau was indeed one of those subversive Socialist types. Oh wait, you have as yet to produce anything other than you just didn't care for the man and the lifestyle choices he made in his lifetime. I believe the only other constructive criticism of the Social Contract as an historical document is that you, once again personally opinionated, felt that this work was entirely too utopian to ever succeed to overthrow Capitalism which you didn't necessarily care for unless I was arguing against the wonderful benefits of man in competition with his fellow man for resources that would not be scarce if we were to work cooperatively to begin with.
Of course, Capitalism and the Protestant work ethic that fostered it in all its glory and shamefullness, is the crux of the great chasm that has divided our cooperation in any sort of meaningful debate. This is the one thing that has reduced us both to kicking and clawing in the end. It has been my experience in life that everyone, no matter how cnetered they feel about themselves, no matter how objective they think they are, has ideologies and a picture of a world perfected. Mess with that worldview and you are certainly stirring up a recipe for conflict, but should we avoid conflict or meet it head-on; or are there other viable alternatives that I am overlooking? This is the question of the hour indeed. This is indeed the question of the age from an American perspective as well. How far is too far to encroach upon our constitutionally guaranteed civil rights in the name of national security? What should we be expected to willfully give up in return for a promise to our personal safety? To what lengths sould the average citizen practice civil disobedience to a system that is broken? And who decides when this system is broken and by whom? How do we confront the things that we fear? Or do we? Why or why not?
Surely I sit here and propose these questions rhetorically, not hoping in vain for some kind of answer. At the end of the day we are only men and our small stature means exactly dick to those who control the real world. Or perhaps I see things in a different light after all. Perhaps utopian dreams are the light that guide us on the dark landscapes that tire our legs and cut our feet along the way. Just because I speak a question in the form of rhetoric does not relegate the question to the unanswerable realm, it means we seriously need to discuss all discernable pros and cons and make a best choice decision based on all the facts.
But alas, my friend, my chief interlocutor has found my opinion offensive and no longer wishes to engage in our little shouting matches any longer.