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View Diary: Bush Authoritarianism: Blackwater+Amway=GOP, Pt. 2 (295 comments)

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  •  But Marcy's Written Probably Millions... (0+ / 0-)

    ...of words on the subject, published a book on the subject, had her stuff published in newspapers, interviewed principals in the things she was covering, reported live from events, etc.  She also interacts with people via blogs.

    This guy published a list of 1,080 words.  Period.  

    No contest.

    [BTW, Marcy's dissertation topic was actually quite relevant to some of what's she's written about, and absolutely relevant to the writing of politics, especially in venues such as blogs.]  

    The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

    by Dana Houle on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 09:43:54 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  And if I was asked who Marcy is, (0+ / 0-)

      I could find out a lot by googling her - I could find out where she went to grad school, in what discipline, what her dissertation topic was on, how she got involved in political blogging, what other political stuff she's done. I can't find any of that stuff on Britt. All I can find is, repeated ad infinitum, that he's a doctor and a political scientist, with no evidence offered that he is either.

      With Marcy, I can find places where she's engaged with criticism, entered into long discussions with people with different views than her, explained points that were unclear, gone into the background of the issues she was covering. Not so with Britt.

      So by both regular-world credentialing standards and blog-world standards of explaining yourself and being accountable to your readers, she's far, far more reliable as a source.

      •  Did you notice his age? (0+ / 0-)

        Probably not.

        He's not a blogosphere member, so he's not going to be  out here in forums.  He's likely not to be, given his age.

        And he has been involved in exchanges regarding his written content.  I take it you didn't bother to check any of the material to which I linked.

        And what do either you or DHinMI know about me, for that matter?  ever bother to check into why I would set store by Britt?  I'm just somebody you can shoot down with your own set of biases as you like, right?  Never mind that Fortune 50 companies have paid me to do research for them; because I'm just a nobody from your frame of reference, you can claim any opinion or position I take is without any basis.

        •  I googled him four ways to sunday. (0+ / 0-)

          I found the same information again and again, without verification of any kind.

          My point about Britt's credentials was that the blogosphere is supposed to be and should be a forum in which formal credentials don't matter, that our ideas should be assessed on their quality and not on whether the person who they belong to is a doctor or a political scientist. As I judge you by what you write, and as I expect to be judged by what I write and not by my academic degrees.

          So I don't give a damn if Fortune 50 companies have paid you to do research for them, not because I'm writing you off as a nobody but because I'm judging you on your writing and ideas at Daily Kos. I would rather have a conversation here with someone who didn't graduate from high school but was looking to have an honest exchange of ideas and was willing to question their preconceptions than with someone who was a world-renowned political scientist but wasn't open to other people's ideas.

          But the constant identification of Laurence Britt as a doctor and a political scientist, especially in the absence of evidence that he is either, is a claim that authority on the subject of fascism, a claim that functionally seeks to evade questions about his writing. That is, his 14 points are presented as fact, verified by his supposed credentials. That's a problem, and it's what I was addressing.

          You don't need my permission or approval to agree with Britt. But if you're going to introduce his points as fact, you have to be prepared to defend them against, say, charges that they involve a lot of cherry-picking and ignore a lot of counter-examples. And if you're going to point to him as an authority, you have to be prepared to defend that claim.

          My view is, if we're going to play the "is the Bush administration fascist" game, I demand we start with a definition of fascism that predates the Bush administration, not one that was written explicitly to prove them fascist.

          •  No (0+ / 0-)

            I was just at a diary that said 51 comments and yet there are only 17 comments visible.

            So when you say

            blogosphere is supposed to be and should be a forum in which formal credentials don't matter, that our ideas should be assessed on their quality and not on whether the person who they belong to is a doctor or a political scientist

            you are disingenuous. People have censored my ability to assess what was written. So there is a slanted forum on the internet -- even here.

            •  Those comments are available (0+ / 0-)

              to any trusted user of this site, which is a status that comes from other members of the community.  In that case, they decided that some of the comments were offensive or off topic or otherwise inappropriate and they hid them.

              •  So your statement about the blogosphere . . . (0+ / 0-)

                is incorrect. Kind of weird that the trusted users create their own reality. It's like they are sending words to Gitmo.

                Honestly, I lurk a lot and at one point I had time to be a trusted user. FWIW, I've observed that TR is used more for revenge and conformity than anything else. I have watched as many people have piled on a user over rather beneign statements only to have the real reason for the pile on to emerge later in thread. Then I have watched the whole thread disappear. I've also watched as very offensive statements and off topic threads get no TR at all. Often the TR seemed to relate to "gangs" and "power" more than a statement.

                Hell, after watching this behavior, I have to wonder about the integrity of a site that is so censored and controlled. Really have to wonder what is going on at a site that has 2/3 of a diary hidden. After observing all of this, I can only chuckle when I see people talk about reality and facts.

                I'm sure you can handle the criticism having grown the thick skin that I always see people talk about.

                •  I don't see a contradiction. (0+ / 0-)

                  I said that formal credentials shouldn't matter, that ideas should be assessed in themselves.  That doesn't mean that a bad idea will be given equal credence to a good one, just that it will have an equal chance coming from a janitor or a teacher.

                  •  That is a single point you made (0+ / 0-)

                    but you have opted to ignore the point I have made.

                    Let's look at the reality and facts that your "trusted users" have allowed me to have access to. That diary I cited before now has 3/4 of the diary hidden. But, this is part of the hidden discussion.

                    Of course others have observed this same abuse here, here and here. It's not the first time I have seen this going on. So your telling me that I'm suppose to find comfort that these "trusted users" are making decisions about what I can see is very disturbing. I'm an intellegent person and I really don't need others, who have too much time on their hands, to decide what I can evaluate on my own. They may be right but I will never be able to assess the situation because they have control over my reality. The one thing I did check (it is now hidden) she was right and the posse was wrong.

                    •  I refuted your willful misrepresentation (0+ / 0-)

                      of what I initially said.  That was my primary concern.  

                      As it happens, I did implicitly address your completely off-topic other point: all ideas won't be given equal credence, but ideas from all people will be (at least until such time as they've proven themselves unreliable).

                      I get that you're upset about hidden comments, but they're part of how this site functions without being overrun by trolls.  But when you get to the point of complaining that trusted users "have control over my reality," you might think about whether you really want to be defining a website as your reality.

    •  But you can ignore an academic now, right? (0+ / 0-)

      Like Evans, who clearly appreciates both Eco and Britt.

      •  What Evidence Do You Have That Evans... (0+ / 0-)

        ..even knows who Britt is?

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Tue Oct 16, 2007 at 12:52:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  BTW, I Assume You Mean RICHARD Evans (0+ / 0-)

        Evans is a legit historian, actually quite eminent.  I think he had an essay in a collection I read, but I haven't read The Third Reich In Power: 1933-1939.  But one of the great things about Amazon is that sometimes you can search sections of a book or look at the index.  And a search of the index shows that on page 905, the subjects go from British Petroleum to Brown Shirts Book of Terror; thus, RICHARD Evans has no entry for Britt.

        Maybe you meant another Evans, but I can't think of any Evans working in the field of 20th century German or European history who would be put forth as much of an expert on the subject.  

        I think Laura nailed it: this Britt character is just some dude who wrote something people liked.  Whether anyone who likes it is in a position to judge Britt's content or his qualifications for being proffered as an authority, that's another story.  

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Tue Oct 16, 2007 at 08:51:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, The First Volume of Evans' Trilogy... (0+ / 0-)

        ...The Coming of the Third Reich, on page 588, the index entries go from Britain to Brock, Werner; thus, again, no entry for Britt.

        Now, one could argue that I'm not looking at the footnotes/endnotes, and that's a legitimate point.  But I will point out that on page 588, there are index entries for both Martin Broszat and Karl Dietrich Bracher, two very important historians of the Third Riech.  Bracher has also written much about fascism in general, such as his essay The Role of Hitler: Perspectives of Interpretation in Fascism: A Reader's Guide edited by Walter Laqueur, which I have read.  Obviously Evans must discuss Bracher and Broszat in his text, but apparently not Britt, at least not enough to warrant an index entry.  '

        So, I think it's highly dubious that Evans ever mentions or discusses Britt, or views him as an important authority.

        But all of this raises an interesting question:  have you read anything by Evans?  If not, why bring him in to the discussion, if, in fact, you're not able to discuss him?  Is he just a name that someone mentioned to you?  Or do you actually recall Evans discussing Britt, or advancing ideas that for you were mirrored in Britt's list?  

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Tue Oct 16, 2007 at 09:08:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And FWIW (0+ / 0-)

          I'm definitely in the functionalist-structuralist camp with Broszat, NOT in the intentionalist camp.  As this plays out with the specialists on the Holocaust, it's Raul Hilberg in the functionalist camp, and Lucy Dawidowicz in the intentionalist camp, such as it is.  By this point, the functionalists pretty much prevail, with few holdouts in the intentionalist camp, and those that have gotten a lot of attention--like Daniel Jonah Goldhagen--are pretty much disdained by serious historians as masters of schlock.  

          Why is this relevant other than me appearing pedantic?  Well, there's a direct line from Max Weber through Franz Neumann--who's Behemoth I discussed in the opening essay--straight to Hilberg.  I generally take a much more functionalist approach to problems of this sort, and I suspect you'll see a more functionalist approach to how I discuss Bush and his cadre than a more intentionalist approach that you often see implied in comments at DKos...including many comments on this very thread.

          So, Rayne, where do you fall on the functionalist v intentionalists debate?  

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Tue Oct 16, 2007 at 09:24:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, Wait, THIS Guy? (0+ / 0-)

        Let me guess, you did a Google search of Eco, Evans and Britt, and you found this.

        You do realize that's the website for the Muslim Brotherhood, right?  

        I tend not to get my scholarly insights from works extolled by the followers of Sayyid Qutb.  

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Tue Oct 16, 2007 at 09:37:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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