Anyone read Paul Treanor?

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holyworrier's picture
holyworrier
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Mar 15 2007 02:03
Anyone read Paul Treanor?

This is my first post or new forum topic... I'll just kind of wedge it in, here. It's exploratory in nature.

I'm curious if any members visit Treanor's Document Index (http://web.inter.nl.net/users/Paul.Treanor/index.html). If you aren't familiar with his writing, I just say that he doesn't prescribe political ideologies - he criticizes probably all of them - so I can only judge his political philosophy from an angle.

Titles from the Index include Why Destroy the Nation-State, the closing paragraph of which I've excerpted here:

Quote:
The fact that nation states block alternative use of territory - and territory is not infinite - indicates a contra-utopian element in nationalist ideology. Nationalists - meaning all those who support the existence of nation states - are conservative and past-oriented. The national populations already have a culture, by definition, and don't need a new one. So although it does not get much attention in nationalism theory, or in the propaganda of nationalists themselves, nationalism is inherently hostile to experiment and innovation. (If there is any large-scale social innovation in a nation state, it is usually driven by rivalry with other nations, or wartime necessity). The creation of utopian states in Europe, or any form of innovative sovereign zone, requires the disappearance of the nation state.

He criticizes the ethics of the market, democracy, human rights intervention, the holocaust industry, NATO, the Yugoslavian intervention, ayaan hirsi ali, john rawls, pym fortuyn, libertarianism, maggie thatcher, etc., etc.

His primary critique of the nation-state world order, democracy and capitalism is that each stifles social innovation.

If anyone cares to give his stuff a look, I'd enjoy a critique of it.

cantdocartwheels's picture
cantdocartwheels
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Mar 17 2007 15:04

A critique based on those articles would be that while they offer a decent critique of liberal ideologies, they never go beyond philosophy. No idea what the guys wider political opinions are, a google search reveals that he may or may not be a washed up old tankie, though at least he hates the ESF.

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holyworrier
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Mar 18 2007 05:39
cantdocartwheels wrote:
A critique based on those articles would be that while they offer a decent critique of liberal ideologies, they never go beyond philosophy. No idea what the guys wider political opinions are, a google search reveals that he may or may not be a washed up old tankie, though at least he hates the ESF.

I don't know what a tankie is. Please give me an example of what that is. Thanks for your response,

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Joseph Kay
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Mar 18 2007 08:10

tankies are stalinists - they got that name for urging 'send in the tanks' during the Hungary '56 uprising, iirc

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holyworrier
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Mar 20 2007 04:02

Good Lord! I googled Treanor and this thread came up on page two. I'll have to be more careful what I say.

I hadn't googled him in years, and found a lot of material I hadn't seen. He's generally held as having interesting ideas but given to periodic excess. Taking his line of logic occasionally into the realm of the absurd. Or rather, beginning his line of logic with an absurdity.

I don't think he does this too often. I won't go down the list one by one BUT I will say that his argument that all art should be destroyed is such a stretch as to be nonsensical. And his titles are often a bit sensational.

But these are quibbles. His essay on Neoliberalism is almost psychoanalysis. His work on Human Rights Watch further increased my general level of skepticism...er, awareness, I mean. Other pieces examine ideas or people from new and revealing angles, in my admittedly limited experience.

What attracts me most about his work is his continuous harping about the ways social innovation is ruled out, stifled, or prohibited in liberal democratic nation-states. It's a kind of totalitarianism. His point that the aforementioned do not have self-dissolution clauses in their charters hit me particularly. I immediately began to envision systems that encouraged experimentation and debate and made provision for their own orderly dissolution in the event that something better took shape.

I like the general principles of Anarchism, of noncoercion and the precondition set on authority. And wasn't the eventual dissolution of the State a tenet of Communism, at some point? Shit. I'd just like to see some social and economic experiments set up. I'd like to see a scientific approach, sponsored by everyone, to improving all our lots, no idea too outlandish to be considered. I'm not naive in thinking such a thing could happen. No doubt I'm naive in thinking it would work.

PoeticDouchebag
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Jul 2 2011 03:36

From what I've read, he supports global redistribution of wealth and values Change above all else. He argues that the free-market undermines moral autonomy, and that democracy prevents change. He feels that people speak of democracy and human rights as moral absolutes, which can lead to people accepting immoral decisions as legitimate. He's a good read, and he's definitely earned brownie points with me for saying that he considers anyone who wears a tie evil.

Dudley Horscroft
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Oct 23 2012 06:42

I have just read his article against Libertarianism. This was at

http://web.inter.nl.net/users/Paul.Treanor/libertarian.html

I regret to say that his logic seems puerile - he does not like 'libertarianism' and argues that libertarians should not read his argument because they can have no common values with him. Somehow this argument seems invalid. If there can be no common values, how can there be a reasoned argument? Hence his argument is bad from first principles. He would attribute actions to 'libertarianism' that I doubt any libertarian would accept as reasonable, and his example of a person sitting in front of a bull-dozer to prevent a lawful action is 'good' because to remove him would be 'coercion' is sheer bunkum. I am sorry, he seems to have no sane logic to his argument. It seems to have the style of the argument used in the Mikado - mere similitude of veracity to bolster up a weak and unconvincing narrative - or words to that effect.