Friday, December 16, 2011

The passing of a great man

I only had time to hit this a bit on twitter and FB this AM - but while I am in between a few things at the paying gig today - I wanted to add in my thoughts on the loss of a great intellectual and American. He, along with David Horowitz, helped me to understand that the instincts I had in many areas were not of the Left - but were of freedom and liberty. Libertarian with a small "l." No reason to feel conflicted, the Left co-opted freedom's words, but couldn't follow through with freedom's actions.

He also emphasized the importance of free thought, investigation, fact, and knowledge as opposed to the refined sugar of feelings, thoughts, and beliefs. Sure, I didn't agree with him on everything - but that was OK. Through my adult life the helped me understand the value of creative friction and the requirement to debate. Throw elbows where needed and call things as you see fit - but as long as people made principled arguments - give them the respect to respond in kind. Likewise, when they do not - feel free to hang, draw, and quarter them.

A couple of things I recommend for today, first this bit from James Fenton at Slate, and secondly take time to see Hitch in full flower in a long debate on the Iraq war - something that flows well with today's FbF. It is Hitch debated George Galloway in 2005. Joel Pollack at my guest house, BigPeace, has links to all - but below is the start.

4 comments:

SouthernAP said...

I didn't care for his attack on religion on a whole, but I did respect him because he was at least reasonable with his logic on the discussion. He just didn't try and be dismissive of his opponent. He was not like Dawkins in his debates on religious topics. I also think his total rejection of being an absoulte idelog as it relates towards anything in the political spectrum is also very interesting. He would pick the side he believed in on the evidence, so if was right side of the political aisle then so be it, ditto if it was to be the left side on a topic.

Stu said...

He was a sad, bitter man.

His attacks on Mother Theresa were tasteless at best. 

May God have mercy on his soul. 

Anonymous said...

He's my hero!

ASWOJoe said...

Whatever else he was an utterly fearless as a writer and man, even in his sixties taking on Syrian Nazis.  That's right, Syrian Nazis.