There is, my gentle friends, a difference between bloviation and blather. Bloviation is the process of expounding upon passionate intellectual subjects without any sense of purpose. Blather is the product of purposesful rhetoric that has no real intellectual substance. While I enjoy bloviation, I try my damndest to stay away from blather.
After enough alcohol, any discussion of a serious subject descends into bloviation, or bloviated debate. At some point, bloviated debate devolves into blather. I had the good fortune last evening to get into an almost unending zone of bloviation that never dropped off the precipice into the blather zone. My interlocutors were, The Large Professor, Red and Doctor V. (The Kid left early).
Doctor V offers me a challenge which I am eager to understand completely and I am wary of earning his distrust. You see, he represents the humanist I think it should be my duty to reform. He is a person centered person who requires a revolution. The sort of expectations he has of people and society are both annoyingly high and benign. And so as with most humanists, he requires a thorough undoing of what has evidently been done wrong. It probably wouldn't go too far afield to say that the good doctor is a Liberal, but I am no longer interested in means, so all those political matters are tending towards the insignificant. I hope earnestly that I can learn the proper meaning of revolution and understand exactly how much directed chaos we can sustain for the sake of Progress. But I sense that our great difference may lie in the following matter of principle.
Mankinds great challenge is not with the nature of civilization, it is with the very existence of civilization.
It is for that reason I seek to concern myself not with matters of reform but with the consequences of that with which we don't control. I am conservative because I doubt that we can control what we learn and direct in society in revolutionary ways. But more importantly our economics and wars reflect exactly what mankind actually does, all intentions aside. To talk about reform and making humanity better without any consideration of war and deprivation as the means to that end is naive and shortsighted. My humanist friends don't seem to recognize that they are the scions of victory in war and business, and they are deluded by the promise of improving that which has been achieved by war through peaceful means.
Which puts us on the doorstep of the Large Professor, who is a cherub of deliberate delight. But I'll talk more about those guys next time.