Friday, March 11, 2011

"Contradiction Is the Ruling Principle of the Universe"

I think it frightens me that political discourse of this kind would not be possible in our day and age, that a dude as far right as William Buckley, who used his gifts of rhetoric to try to embarrass and belittle opponents, could have a somewhat civilized (though probably, in the end, unproductive) discussion with Huey Newton.

Buckley has his talons out even before Huey has said a word. Huey comes off as nerdy, a bit silly-sounding. His voice is disarmingly adenoidal. But underneath all that is a steely confidence you can sense just below the surface. Not to mention a huge and complex mind. What Huey says towards the end about contradiction gives me chills every time I hear it. Deep, deep shit.

2 comments:

sand said...

"in the end unproductive"? American culture seems to always find the imbalance in that which it does not find compassion or understanding for.

Our constructive contributions in society should always out way our individual human flaws. Jimmy Carter's contributions to society after his Presidential position surpassed his abilities in office.

We also tend to forgive some and disregard others depending on their Race and Ethnicity.
Noah was an alcoholic and unreliable but he built the Ark. He made a great contribution to society and we remember him for this and not his human flaws.

double standards are not the ruling principle of the universe but it is a very American way.

Mik A. said...

Thanks for the comment, sand. I only meant "unproductive" in the sense that both men would leave the conversation not having really heard each other. Which is sad, b/c I think Buckley could have learned a lot from Huey in this interview if he were listening properly. I think you're right: it boils down to a grassroots inability to "find compassion or understanding." Which, as we all know, has never been a one-way street.