Jun 21, 2023·edited Jun 24, 2023Liked by Samuel Kimbriel, Tom Barson

I think one of the problems is that thinking from Tom's perspective (and generally the modern perspective that Samuel opposes) is supposed to objectively settle things, in an imitation or pretense of hard science, or even, of math.

Whereas the more ambitious thinkers of the past (whether Plato or the modern one's mentioned from Adorno to Weil) were content with settling the matter within their cultural frame, and within cultural assumptions that not only didn't have to be universal in the sense that physical laws are, but they knew weren't universally accepted even by the entirety of their own society. In other words, from a perspective.

This is a different game than thought that attemps to treat everything it discusses as a physics theory - and will not touch anything that is not ammenable to such treatment.

I find that the modern thinker's minutiae are just as arbitrary, but with the added restrictions of having to appear axiomatic and universal, and thus scale down in ambition, in an a attempt to achieve this more easily.

So, e.g. thinking about the morality of production, the desirability of trade, or the ethics and behind-the-scenes of how the economy works, or the anthropology and the changes to our culture it requires to operate is out of reach. Too risky - too opinionated. Better to take the economy and the free market for granted , as if it was some natural phenomenon, and describe its mechanics the way Newton described the laws of motion. Better to describe the status quo (abstracted away as some perfect sphere for the sake of thinking) than to challenge its premises or characterize it. This is just an example - there are countless in all domains of thought.

Ambition requires thought that paints a dynamic painting, and asks of us to see what we can recognize (if it's of reality) or whether we agree (if it is an "ought" or an utopia depicted).

Instead modern limited thought is more like doing a technical sketch of a building. It can be accurate, and they build might even exist and its proportions be accurate. But it will just add some detail to something we can see anyway. It will never show us this world, or another possible one.

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Jun 21, 2023·edited Jun 21, 2023Liked by Christine Emba, Tom Barson

Dear Sam and Tom,

Thank you for the debate and opening it up to the public. Honestly, I don't have a master's or PhD, and so I can't say that I understand all of your references and positions.

But I've been thinking a lot about purpose.

Are we here to learn? If we know, then what do we do with this knowledge?

I would contend that we only learn and apply knowledge so that we may be free. Not so that we can make a buck or get more followers or this or that. Our purpose is to get free.

When discussing the left and the right, and politics in America, I think one thing that has been greatly at stake, for me at least, is slavery and freedom. The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution states that, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist in the United States... except as a punishment for a crime whereby the party shall have been duly convicted."

These convictions have been very loose. Especially for Black people in America. Sometimes people have been convicted of jaywalking. Or loitering. Or stealing merchandise worth a few dollars, and they've been locked up for decades. Or killed for the crime. Then there's all of those wrongful convictions, and plea deals...

And this exception clause, this permissibility of slavery in America, I believe has been behind much of the left-wing versus right-wing debates in our country. Though Biden introduced the crime bill, so you have the establishment Democrats and the establishment Republicans both thoroughly supportive of slavery (mass incarceration). That's why Kyle Rittenhouse showed up to a Black Lives Matter protest and killed protesters. That's the reason behind the Back the Blue and Blue Lives Matter campaigns, and the work against Critical Race Theory - so we don't recognize and abolish prison slavery.

The Abolish Slavery National Network (www.endtheexception.com) has been doing phenomenal work at the state and national levels to remove the exception, and abolish all forms of slavery in America. Just last week, Senator Merkley of Oregon reintroduced the Abolition Amendment, to remove the exception clause from the 13th Amendment. And they've already done as much in the state constitutions of a dozen or so states.

I truly believe that our purpose in life is to be free, to serve God alone, and to liberate as many others as possible. This doesn't just constitute prison slavery, but economic slavery as well - debt slavery - where we don't get to enjoy the fruits of our labors, but we're working for somebody else, and they steal the bulk of our labors, leaving us with a penance.

Allah SWT says in the Quran:


لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا بِٱلْبَيِّنَـٰتِ وَأَنزَلْنَا مَعَهُمُ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلْمِيزَانَ لِيَقُومَ ٱلنَّاسُ بِٱلْقِسْطِ ۖ وَأَنزَلْنَا ٱلْحَدِيدَ فِيهِ بَأْسٌۭ شَدِيدٌۭ وَمَنَـٰفِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ ٱللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُۥ وَرُسُلَهُۥ بِٱلْغَيْبِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ قَوِىٌّ عَزِيزٌۭ ٢٥

This may be translated as: Indeed, We sent Our messengers with clear proofs, and with them We sent down the Scripture and the balance so that people may administer justice.

— Dr. Mustafa Khattab, the Clear Quran

And we as Muslims are implored to establish a balance. This balance is in the marketplaces, whereby all transactions are just - like for like. And this can only truly be measured if we have hard currency, rather than our current fiat currency.

And I wonder, where are you all going with the debate? Are you working to establish justice, and to liberate yourselves, and others? Or...?

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