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Same planet, different worlds

This quote of the day from Joe and subsequent links got me to thinking. Go read and come back. There simply cannot be peace between our people and it’s entirely because of different mentalities, world views and ways of thinking. And that quote is one example of this substantial difference in thinking and cognition.

The other difference I find in dealing with folks with whom I mostly disagree politically is the concept of need. Why do you need a 50 caliber? Why do you need a car that gets to 60 in under 5 seconds and gets shitty gas mileage? Why do you need this or that? And my response is always the same: What’s need got to do with it?

And this throws them for a loop. Literally. They feel the need to justify their desires, wants, views and goals so that they’re palatable to other people. They expect you to do the same. I have no such predilection toward that. I do things because I want to. And when I explain to them that my supposed need has fuck all to do with anything, I can literally watch their eyes glaze over in what I presume is disbelief. I think it’s hard on them to be told that they don’t have a say. And I’m not justifying any thing to them.

ETA: And I think their amazement comes from being told their whole life that feelings matter and are the most important things on earth. Which is, mostly, patently false. So being told your feelings don’t actually matter and you don’t get a say can be a hard kick in the reality.

55 Responses to “Same planet, different worlds”

  1. John Smith. Says:

    Does it really matter?

  2. Greg-o Says:

    I had a similar discussion with a friend about open carry…. he came back with a thought that he had a right to feel safe… he understood the error of that when I pointed out that if he actually had that right, then you would end up criminalizing people not based on their actions but on the fears (be they rational or irrational) of the people around them.

  3. Rustmiester Says:

    Because I “need” to engage in the pursuit of happiness, that’s why dammit.

  4. hsoi Says:

    When I engage in this conversation, since I know they won’t get MY choices, I have to find a way to put this into a realm they can relate to. Since I may not know what they like, well… let’s go for least common denominator. Food.

    Why do you eat steak? You don’t NEED steak to live, beans and rice and water will work just fine. Often the conversation works better if they happen to be eating something at the time and you ask it “Why do you eat ?” That doesn’t always help them see my side, but at least it allows their brain to grok the argument from a place they can relate to.

  5. alan Says:

    If you don’t NEED it then you’re gonna have a damned hard time getting someone else to pay for it.

    The incomprehension happens because we’re not asking anyone else to pay and liberal politics is based on making other people pay. NEED is the public face of identity politics.

  6. HardCorps Says:

    I throw it right back with what gives you the right to tell me or anyone else what to do? What right does an adult have morally to direct the life of another adult? And how is that effected without the threat of violence?

    I wouldn’t care how many laws are passed about whatever if there wasn’t the threat of a group of guys with guns would come and snatch me.

    Alan’s justification is on point.

  7. Gunmart Says:

    “Because I’ve got all this damn disposable income that I’ve got to get rid of”

  8. Veeshir Says:

    My family is always asking me why I need another gun.

    My response is, “If I wanted only what I needed I would move to some craphole country.

  9. mikee Says:

    Combine the use of “feelings” as a basis for required actions, some personal needs redefined as absolute “rights”, selective “tolerance”, requirements for specific types of “diversity”, and the law that one must not be “judgemental” and one has a way to insist on actions by others that they do not want to perform, while insulating oneself from any criticism or accountability. This BS works until someone says in effect that the emperor has no clothes on, and then they get all angry at you for not playing by their rules.

  10. Miguel Says:

    The problem is not only need, but that they would gladly relinquish the determination of such ‘need’ to a third party, provided that the third party goes along the lines they demand in order to feel safe.
    Hsoi mentioned that he does not ‘need’ steak to survive and that is what many governments apply to their populations. The old soviets and nowadays Cuba have rationing cards with which the government dictated your “needs” food-wise. The same applies to the News, since you do not ‘need’ to hear from other sources than those approved by the government. Health Care? Don’t even go there. Basically they use ‘Need’ as a way to control the one true Need: Freedom.

  11. IllTemperedCur Says:

    I hate, hate, hate the “need” argument with the heat of a thousand suns. Not just because of its moral deficiencies, but because its a trap (insert Admiral Ackbar joke here). And a particularly dishonest and deceptive trap at that.

    The moment that you explain why you need something, you are also agreeing that “need” is a valid criteria for limiting possession or use of that item. And you’re also agreeing that your need is only valid if you can justify it to the person who questions it. The “need” question is designed to maneuver you into giving up your moral right to live your life in the manner that you see fit.

    There are only two correct answers to the “need” question: “to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights” and “none of your damned business”.

  12. Joe Huffman Says:

    I think the issues of “need” and “feelings” is a symptom of a much deeper mental defect. As Say Uncle said, it is “different mentalities, world views and ways of thinking”. You guys are getting a little bit off track discussing the “need” and “feelings” aspect of this syndrome.

    It’s long, but read this and I think you will understand better. Many of them simply do not have the mental processes to accurately determine truth from falsity. Some of our opponents are just evil (I think Schumer and Lautenberg fall into this category) and use these people to further their agenda but some are very well intentioned and in almost all respects “good people”. But they have a mental defect that causes catastrophic failure in some decisions. I think it probably is a short cut that worked “good enough” in evolutionary terms but it fails in the general case.

    In another time these people would have been reading entrails or doing trials by fire to make decisions. Some people actually believe evidence and reason are counter productive to good decision making. They are NOT stupid. Some of them sit on the SCOTUS and you don’t get there riding on the short bus.

  13. MJM Says:

    While intelligence has something to do with the speed of analyzing information and reaching conclusions, reason is a learned skill, requiring operation from factually correct foundational premises to reach correct conclusions. In our culture, “reasoning noises” have replaced reasoning and the foundational premises are far from the nearly extinct value of the individual as free citizen.
    I would add, wisdom differs even from reason.
    So, plenty of intelligent people reason and conclude like fools.
    Miguel, you identified where their false assumptions lead: to their eagerness to appoint the Committee to Identify Needs and Allocate Resources (CINAR). Of course, the trouble is, despite their belief otherwise, CINAR would be made up of sinners.

  14. DirtCrashr Says:

    What’s stuffed into their brains is the need to have Permission. You don’t get “need” without requirements.
    As permissive-people, they feel the need for permission itself, to validate their mundane desires and elevate them to something beyond “need” status.
    By applying permission to their own needs they put those and themselves beyond reproach.
    It’s a kind of self-worship and has nothing to do with actual truth or falsity, but with personal validation – and it’s about as interesting (except to them) as validating your parking, and a psychic tautology nonetheless.

  15. Bubblehead Les Says:

    I like to tell those people that there are currently 6.5 Billion Humans on the Planet, and in spite of what they have been told about themselves, there are easily a Million people who could replace them in a second, so maybe they should stop thinking about how “Special” they are. After all, if they are so “Unique”, what’ll they do when they need a Blood Transfusion? If they are so “Rare”, it looks like they’ll die because they can’t get any Medical help, now don’t they? Then they usually get pissed and try to justify why they are “Special”. Then I leave them at that point, knowing that “My work here is done”. Great Fun, try it sometime! Doesn’t matter their Age or Sex, they’re all just Spoiled Brats, and we’d have a better Planet w/o them.

  16. Lergnom Says:

    Many years ago, there was a rebuttal on the web or USENET, I’m not certain which, to the ‘need’ argument. I think it was titled ‘The Question Which Should Never be Asked’. I wish now that I’d saved it, as it was brilliant.
    Stay safe

  17. Tirno Says:

    “Why do I need this gun, those guns, or all these guns and gun-things? Well, I’ll tell ya.

    Like any machine, firearms can malfunction or break. So, if you have one, you probably could stand to have another as a back-up.

    Now, each of these firearms works best in a certain performance envelope. Your handguns are ideal for short-range, no-notice situations. Your rifles, depending on how they’re configured, are good for middle, long, and very long range situations. Your shotguns, depending on the load, are good for a variety of short to middle-range situations.

    You may want some extra to lend to friends and family.

    And you need this variety, you see, because you never know when and where some idjit is going to pop up and declare himself your lord and master with the authority to determine for you what you need and don’t need.”

  18. Billy Beck Says:

    This is an excellent case, Unc, of what Rand called “philosophical detection”. You saw through the premise and did not stipulate to it.

    The world needs a lot more of this.

  19. Billy Beck Says:

    A reading:

    “John Markle, a coal operator who made an enormous fortune in the New River and Pocahontas coal regions of West Virginia, disliked being fenced in and had built to his order a thirty-two-room apartment on a duplex plan on New York’s Park Avenue. It was too small by far. Two years later, in 1928, he moved into a co-operative apartment on Fifth Avenue with forty-one rooms and fifteen baths. He had a private telephone switchboard installed with twenty-six extensions and a round-the-clock operator. This was before large numbers of extensions were a commonplace, or the Princess handset had been dreamed of. A black and white staircase of tessellated marble connected the two floors of the duplex at a cost of $25,000. When a newspaper reporter asked how he could use fifteen baths at once, Markle snapped, ‘It’s nobody’s goddamned business.'”

    (Lucius Beebe, “The Big Spenders”, 1966, Doubleday & Co., Inc., chapter 15, “Fun With Real Estate”, p. 373)

  20. Laughingdog Says:

    “By applying permission to their own needs they put those and themselves beyond reproach.
    It’s a kind of self-worship and has nothing to do with actual truth or falsity, but with personal validation ”

    I don’t think it’s self-worship. I think they’re just so stunted emotionally, and intellectually, that they still need Mommie’s permission to do things.

  21. Sean Sorrentino Says:

    I’ve always asked them “who appointed you the ‘Need Police?'” but I think I will just use Tirno’s answer from now on.

  22. Ron W Says:

    Guns are tools or instruments. Just as I choose, have and need different tools and instruments, I choose, have and need different guns for various reasons.

    And by what basis, does another person or persons presume to tell me I don’t or can’t have what I choose? But when it comes to guns, they go further. They want hired guns to enforce their view on those who disagree!!

  23. SPQR Says:

    It is not really even about different views of “need”.

    They don’t like us. That’s all it is.

  24. Ron W Says:


    Right! It’s prejudice and bigotry from an ilk which typically claims to support diveristy and tolerance.

  25. Mr Evilwrench Says:

    Arrested development. By the time they should have made the transition to adulthood, they had so much invested in the “mother may I” idiom, that they were unable to exit it. They had not prepared, or been prepared, with the intellectual tools they would need to live independently, thus they seek a parent or teacher figure, and can’t conceive that there are those of us who no longer need that.

  26. liberal gun lover Says:

    This is what I tell my liberal friends. Currently the drug cartels are able to get literally truck fulls of drugs over the border into the US. If all guns were made illegal in the US and every gun was rounded up. The cartels would start importing guns and only criminals would have guns. No amount of laws will get guns out of the hands of criminals so why leave the law abiding people defenceless?

  27. Kristopher Says:

    liberal gun lover:

    You are using logic again. Doesn’t work on someone who can only associate guns with cops or criminals.

    If she sees or thinks of “gun”, she can nly consider the person associated with it as one of these.

    You aren’t a cop, therefor, you are, at best, some kind of criminal or would-be criminal.

    Logic is not used here … only rote memory associations, like a horse spooking because a stick on the ground looks vaguely like a snake.

  28. Ron W Says:

    “If all guns were made illegal in the US and every gun was rounded up.” –liberal gun lover

    Great point and ask them how that would be enforced? Oh, by guns of course!

    And what happened in history (Nazis..Communists..etc)) when only the government has the guns…..mass-murder of tens of millions!!

    Remember, only your enemy wants you disarmed…whether criminals or the “legalized version”.

  29. workinwifdakids Says:

    She’s operating on the principle of, “I didn’t kick you, I just pushed you very hard with my foot.”

    I don’t play word games. If you want to see a liberal go bat-shit insane, re-state their opinion in your own words and then ask them if you understood them correctly.

  30. Nostromo Says:

    No. “It throws them for a loop…” figuratively. You are a journalist. Get it right.

  31. M. Simon Says:

    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

  32. Vadept Says:

    “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”
    -Karl Marx

    That’s why they want you to justify your need.

  33. Archaeopteryx Says:

    I recall once being asked, “Why do you have so many guns? You can’t shoot them all at once.”
    To which I responded, “Why do you have so many records? You can’t play them all at once.” (The person was an audiophile.)

  34. GreyOne Says:

    My only response to the question of why I “Need” something is to raise an eyebrow, and ask, “Why do [B]you [/B] NEED to know ? Why does my needs or wants concern you in any way, when YOU are not paying the tab ?”

  35. SayUncle Says:

    No. “It throws them for a loop…” figuratively.

    No, I’m not. Literally.

  36. Lazarus Long Says:

    “Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.”

    -Robert A. Heinlein

  37. rjchwarz Says:

    RE: Need

    You could always ask your liberal friend why anyone “needs” needs drugs (assuming they support legalization that is). Booze and caffeine are available, that should be enough for anyone (until the nanny statists come after them that is). The real difference is the higher calibers provide a thrill that is not addictive or life ruining.

  38. Zoe Brain Says:

    You don’t “need” any of those things. Not the gun collection, not the gas-guzzler.

    But Society needs to allow as large a degree of personal freedom as is practicable, or it’s not worth living in.

    We all “need” you not to be forbidden for going to Hell in your own way, even doing stupid stuff I for one disapprove of, and would never do myself. Why?

    Because if you’re prevented by a self-appointed aristocracy from doing stuff they think is stupid, what’s to prevent them from doing exactly the same to me?

    How can I defend my own freedom without defending yours too?

  39. The Pathetic Earthling Says:

    Hey Unc, long time!

    Far away from the gun issue, I get into fights with my lefty friends about *precisely* this. But the thing of it is, the reason the left thinks “need” is the touchstone of rights, is that it lets them have an external reason to deny you those rights. You don’t “need” to say rude things about certain kinds of people, or “need” incandescent lightbulbs, or whatever. If “need” is the basis, the state can define the “need” to whatever they want.


  40. Social Justice Says:

    People really don’t NEED the great majority of what they have. The NEEDS required for survival are not many.

    Somebody will then come around to collect the surplus. And that person will do it because he WANTS what the other people have and don’t need.

    Too many people are too far removed from the basic laws of animal and human nature, where power, and not reason rule. Someday they may again find themselves subject to those rules, and it will probably be due to their own efforts to effect “social justice”.

  41. NotAnnieOakley Says:

    Why do I need my gun(s)? because:

    Boys need toys
    To make noise!

  42. Charlos Says:

    An appeal to spare his life so that he could continue his experiments was cut short by the judge: “The Republic needs neither scientists nor chemists; the course of justice can not be delayed.”[11]

    French revolutionary court on sentencing Lavoisier. Reader, they don’t NEED your children, sooner or later they are not going to NEED you.

  43. Charlos Says:

    Quote was from Wikipedia.

  44. Corky Boyd Says:

    The next time you are asked by a liberal why you need something, especially a .50 cal Zell, ask him back why he needs imported wine, when Gallo accomplishes the same thing.

    He will go beserk.

  45. Evil Otto Says:

    Mark Steyn:
    Americans tote guns because they are assertive, self-reliant citizens, not docile subjects of a permanent governing class. At dinner in Paris a couple of years ago, I was asked about “this American sickness with guns.”

    “Americans have guns,” I said, “because a lot of Americans like having guns.”

    My host scoffed. “A lot of people here would like to have guns too. But they don’t.”

    “Exactly,” I said.

  46. Jeff Mitchell Says:

    Here are a couple tools I came up with for dealing with “needs” The basic premise is that you only “need” something if there is a “want” that requires it. See:


    Government can’t demand abilities or provide needs without slavery.

    Then, if you want to have some fun, just ask any person what the most important thing in their life right now is. It’s a trick question. If they make any answer other than “talking to you” they’ve fallen into a trap. “Talking to you” is the correct answer. If anything else is answered, it is incorrect, because if anything thing WERE more important right now, they’d be doing it and not talking to you. In talking to you they have dropped priority on everything else for the moment. So wants, needs and priorities work much better if people aren’t being sloppy or deceptive.

  47. Charlie Says:

    Having lived for many decades in deeply liberal enclaves and having had many long-term friendly and working relationships with progressive types, I puzzled about the mental dif myself.

    What I came up with is that your basic libertarian conservative is an optimist who doesn’t doubt for a second that, left to our own devices, things slowly but surely tend to get better. Your social conservative feels much the same *provided* we are on guard against moral trespass–you can’t get on the right track if you’re living on the wrong track.

    Your progressive, otoh, is a pessimist who firmly believes that, left to our own devices, we will surely go astray in mass through greed, ignorance, prejudice and other low motivations. Hence, we need parental-type authority over us. Love of material things, particularly in categories like guns and cars, stands as proof of intent to drag all of society into your own mental hell.

    If you point out the march of progress over recent centuries to them, to the extent they reply at all (as opposed to just blowing you off as some idiot), it is to state that that’s all delusion, a bubble that will burst leaving us in worse shape than if we had not pursued the folly of econo-technical progress at the expense of getting our heads right. Almost anything you say to them not from the choirbook is mere confirmation that you are hopelessly delusional.

    Curiously, most people who come right out and say they are socialists, you can have a debate with. They just think you’re the enemy, a swine, deluded but not delusional.

  48. Big D Says:

    Ask them, “Why do you need to exercise power over my life?”

    Or, perhaps more crudely, “Why do you feel the need to be my master, and to make me your slave?”

  49. Peter Says:

    I only have to justify what I think I “need” to my wife as we pay the bills together. Oh, and myself. I would have liked to have fooled around with one of those great big .50 BMG rifles, I never bought one because I could not self-justify the need. My local shooting ranges have only a two hundred yard line on the one and a three hundred yard line on the other. So, to shoot one of those, the way they’re designed to shoot, ultra long range, I would have to make too far a drive. Plus, my favorite of the two locals, will no longer allow the .50 BMGs, they require too much work rebuilding the berms.

    So, I concluded that I do not need one. What I did not do was allow anyone but my Linda Lou to make me justify my need. Anyone else gets only a dirty look and, perhaps, some crude expletives.

  50. geekWithA.45 Says:

    >>There simply cannot be peace between our people

    Sure there can, so long as they have no power over us.

    The rubber meets the road when they assert we have some duty to behave in some manner that modulates their feelings and other internal states in such a manner that it pleases them.

    In other words, they want us to yank their mental planks.


    No thanks.

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