Origin of HUERISTIC: German heuristisch, from New Latin heuristicus, from Greek heuriskein meaning "to discover"
Origin of PHILOLOGIA: French philologia, from Latin philologia meaning "love of learning and literature", from Greek philologos meaning "fond of learning and literature", from Greek philosophy phil (word) and logos (speech).
Heuristic Philologia Is A Genre Of Literary Criticism
It has often been said the creative arts are not for the faint hearted. That is because whether the art form is painting, sculpting, music, dance, or writing, the artist puts their soul on the line. However, that is an inadequate description. In the words of Tom Wolfe, to be truly creative, "The artist must be completely true to themselves and create without self-censorship or fear of what others may think about them or their work."
A Cult Is A Religion With No Political Power
This is particularly true when one is writing critique about religion such as Wolfe's quotation: "A cult is a religion with no political power" which of course means, "Religion, including Christian denominations, are nothing more than grown-up cults because they have political power".
To people with well honed critical thinking skills, this assessment of religion in America; especially America's Radical Religious-Right comprised of conservative Roman Catholics, Evangelicals, and Bible Based Sectarians and their minions who make up the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, this is a self-evident and true statement.
However, to those on the Radical Religious-Right, it is sacrilege to equate them with a cult.
Yet, that is precisely why it needs to be stated because they are a cult. They are a cult because the praxis of the Radical Religious-Right is cult-like worship of dogma and the Bible as the literal Word of God without it being open to question or interpretation. This is coupled with an understanding of the political and politics that is based on Adam Smith's economic theory predicated on laissez-faire, unregulated, and unrestrained capitalism with very low taxation of the wealthy and business,that creates the huge gap in wealth manifested in America today that leads to a severe rightward tilt into Fascism.
If you do not readily see the manifestation of the reality of America's Radical Religious-Right as Fascism, all you have to do is to plug their religious-political agenda into Benito Mussolini's 1932, Doctrine of Fascism where he expands on the major religious, political, and social doctrines that underlie Fascism.
Benito Mussolini Lecturing On The Doctrine of Fascism In 1932
However, as the Doctrine of Fascism is a chore for many people to read, Lawrence Britt wrote an article titled, "Fascism Anyone" that appeared in a 2003 publication of, Free Inquiry that summarized the main characteristics of Mussolini's Doctrine of Fascism. I have cited Britt's 14 Doctrines of Fascism with examples that document America's Religious and Political Right are Fascists.
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
* Republican Uber-Patriotism that claims America is always right and can never be wrong.
* Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's mantra that America is weak and he will, "Make America Strong Again.
* Disdain for countries that have a form of governance different from democracy.
2. Disdain for the recognition of human rights
* Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney writing off the 47% of Americans who are too poor to pay income taxes by stating, "My job is not to worry about these people".
* As a consequence of the Voting Rights Act not being renewed in 2014, Republican dominated states especially in the South are creating requirements to vote that many people of color and who poor people cannot meet.
* Republicans created the 2013 budget sequestration and shutting down of Congress that cut the federal budget across the board including all social service programs for the poor, handicapped, and veterans.
* The right to health care for every American should be a given because America continually has the world's largest percent of Gross National Product and Net National Product. Yet, the Republicans denied a one-payer national health care plan and have also done their best to destroy the Affordable Care Act that still leaves millions of Americans without healthcare insurance.
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a unifying cause
* President George W. Bush justified his bombing and occupation of Iraq by lying to the American people that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction even after the Atomic Energy Commission Investigators stated they did not exist and further that Iraq did not even have the ability to make them. Consequently, Bush bombed and occupied Iraq that has ultimately cost thousands of American lives and trillions of dollars.
* The Republican Party refuses to negotiate a meaningful immigration law that includes a road to citizenship. Instead, it claims illegal immigrants including 66,000 unaccompanied children and teenagers, pose a danger to America's National Security.
* The Republican Party uses illegal immigrants as the scapegoat for their own policy failings, the failure of the administration of George W. Bush, and their stonewalling every progressive piece of President Obama's legislative initiative.
4. Supremacy of the Military
* For 2014, the projected Defense Department Budget was $625 billion which represented a whopping 18% of the national budget. However, that was just the base budget and does not include special appropriations that continued throughout the year in America's fight against Islamic Terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan including the so-called Islamic State. Given President Obama's September 2014 pledge for a long-term military intervention to defeat these Islamic State Terrorists, the real budget for 2015 will skyrocket and may well exceed 22-25% of the national budget.
5. Rampant Sexism
A small sample of sexist remarks by Republican candidates include:
* Tom Smith, Pennsylvania, "Pregnancy from rape is like having a baby out of wedlock".
* Todd Akin on abortion, "If its a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut the whole thing down".
* GOP operatives in the Medina County, Ohio, Newsletter re: Betty Sutton, "Take Betty Sutton out of the House and put her back in the kitchen".
* When members of the House Democratic Women's Caucus stepped to the microphone to explain how the House Health Care legislation would help women, Tom Price led the Republicans in screaming and shouting so loud, "I Object, I Object, I Object, I Object" the speakers could not be heard.
* The Roman Catholic Church does not allow women to be ordained as clergy.
* The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Baptist organization in America, has ordered all women who are Pastors must step down from the pulpit.
6. Control of Mass Media
* Republican conservatives dominate Talk Radio with 96% or Talk Radio air time dedicated to Evangelical Televangelism and Right-Wing political propaganda.
* FOX News, better known as "Faux News", is the media engine of the Republican Party and Tea Party.
* Between Talk Radio and FOX News, large portions of Americans listen to this propaganda from the time they get up in the morning until they go to bed at night.
* There are several channels and networks devoted to "Christian Broadcasting" by which they mean Evangelical faith beliefs and political propaganda.
7. Obsession with National Security
Even though the Pentagon has reported to Congress many times it does not need the following 5 programs, Congress maintains they are necessary to National Defense and refuses to defund them:
* The Global Hawk Block 30 Drone Program
* The C-27 J Spartan Cargo Aircraft
* Upgrade to the M1 Abrams Tank
* Funding for the Air National Guard
* The proposed East Coast Missile Defense System
8. Religion and Government intertwined
* President George W. Bush's "Faith Based Initiatives" that funnel federal money to [mostly Evangelical] social programs many of which are anti-abortion, church sponsored, clinics.
* The Roman Catholic Church and other denominations being given an exemption from the Affordable Care Act so they do not have to pay for contraception insurance for their employees.
* The Supreme Court's Burnell v. Hobby Lobby decision that closely held corporations are exempt from paying for contraception under the Affordable Care Act if the owners of the corporation have religious objections to contraception.
* Political Action Committees set up by Christian denominations as a way around their 501c3 tax exempt status that prohibits them from endorsing candidates. The PACs allow them to raise unlimited amounts of money for particular candidates.
* The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops not only sends letters to members of Congress and the Senate, but their lobbyists visit members of Congress and the Senate on Capitol Hill.
* The Supreme Court's McCullen v. Coakley decision held buffer zones to protect abortion patients from religiously motivated, rabid in-you-face anti-abortion zealots waiving dismember fetuses, was unconstitutional.
9. Corporate power is protected and enhanced
* The Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Committee held corporations are people with the right to donate as much as they choose without citing sources of who donated to individual candidates as well as to political parties.
10. Labor Union power is suppressed
* Under the Orwellian slogan "Right to Work", Republican Tea Party governors and legislators have abolished (Wisconsin) public employee unions and have limited the powers of public employee unions with the goal of eliminating them in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Virginia.
* Teacher Unions (American Federation of Teachers and AFL/CIO teacher unions) are under attack throughout the nation. The federally mandated "CORE Curriculum" evaluates teachers according to how well their students do on required standardized testing. Although otherwise protected by their union, teachers can be fired if their students do not measure up to the performance level mandated by the state. It does not matter that such testing has never been proven to enhance learning and in fact many educators maintain it diminishes learning because teachers are force to "teach to the tests" and not the full curriculum. Most importantly, standardized testing does not take into account students who enter the classroom several grades below grade level in language and mathematics skills that drag down the overall performance of the class which in some jurisdictions may in fact be the majority of the students in the class or school.
11. Disdain for intellectuals and the arts
* Attorney General John Ashcroft felt compelled to drape the statue of Lady Justice at the headquarters of the Justice Department becasue he found her naked breasts violated his religious sensibilities and made him feel uncomfortable.
* Funding for the arts by the federal government was greatly diminished during the 8 years of the administration of George W. Bush.
* Evangelicalism, and all denominations that hold to a literal reading and understanding of the Bible, are suspicious of intellectuals and intellectualism and often reject scientific truth when it contradicts their literal understanding of Creation and condemnation of homosexuaity.
12. Obsession with crime and punishment
* The Supreme Court held Florida's Republican legislature IQ cut off point was too low to decide which mentally ill people must be spared the death penalty.
* Former president George W. Bush who was also formerly the governor of Texas, the state that traditionally has the most people on death row and executes more people than any other state, executed 152 people over 5 years. His successor, Governor Rick Perry, executed 235 people in his first 11 years and the number continues to grow. Since the reinstitution of the death penalty, Republican states have far exceeded Democratic states in exercising capital punishment.
* Republicans believe the best way to stop illegal immigrants from coming to America is to build a wall between Mexico and America. Of course a wall will not do the job itself anymore than it did to separate East and West Germany after World War II which is why the Berlin Wall was actually two walls with a no man's land between them covered by machine guns manned 24/7 to shoot anyone who tried to cross the border. If the Republicans have their way, this will become the punishment for the crime of trying to illegally cross the border between Mexico and America.
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
* In 1995, Grover Nyquist and then House Majority Whip Tom DeLay started the K Street Project. The goal was to pressure Washington Lobbying firms to hire Republicans leaving office to their top management positions. In turn, these loyal Republicans now lobbyists would have direct access to Republican Senators and Representatives. Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a vital part of the K Street Project.
* It is widely held, and not denied by former president George W. Bush, that he routinely rejected expert advice from the CIA and military advisers including that of the Atomic Energy Commission, that told him Iraq had no Weapons of Mass Destruction or way of creating them, in favor of his trusted inner circle of non-experts. Historians maintain if he had listened to the CIA, military advisers, and the Atomic Energy Commission, there would have been no excuse to bomb and occupy Iraq and all the lives lost, others maimed and ruined, as well as the trillions of dollars flushed down the toilet by that war would not have happened.
* However, most importantly, everything that has happened in Iraq since our bombing and occupation would not have happened including the rise of the Islamic State terrorists.
14. Fraudulent elections
* The most fraudulent election in American history was the so-called election of George W. Bush in 2000. The results of the election were very close and the votes of Florida were some of the last to be counted. In short, if Bush won Florida he would win the election. However, the vote was so close a recount was necessary.
* With Bush behind in the recount and heavily democratic regions of the state still not counted, it looked like Bush would lose the election. However, the recounting was stopped becasue a rowdy crowd was allowed to storm the building where the recount was taking place. In a "rush to judgement" scenario, Florida's governor and brother of George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, stopped the recount. The next day he asked the Florida State Supreme Court to decide who won the election but they deferred to the United States Supreme Court.
* It was later learned that some of the rowdy protesters were flown from Texas by Speaker of the House Tom DeLay's private jet.
* What the Supreme Court should have done was to send the case back to the Florida State Supreme Court with the instruction to continue the recount until a winner was declared. Instead, the Supreme Court decided to make the decision itself. However two Justices, David Suiter and Clarence Thomas, had been nominated by Mr. Bush's father President H.W. Bush and should have recused themselves to avoid even the hint of payback or favoritism. They did not and both Justices Suiter and Thomas voted for George W. Bush to become the president of the United States.
Now that we have documented the Fascism of the Tea Party dominated Republican Party, we may continue.
It is the Fascist agenda of the Radical Religious-Right that is more political than religious and never right, that requires their not so sacred toes to be stepped on with both feet.
Yet, taking Wolfe's advice is not as easy as it sounds. Why? Because the truly creative artist must not only put their soul on the line, they must strip their soul naked and put it on public display for all to see and critique.
Truly, being a creative artist is not for the timid or those who seek the approval of family, friends, or society. In short, the creative artist must "tell it like it is" as Howard Cosell so often said and that is often not what people want to hear, see, or read.
While this is true for all of the creative arts, it is particularly true for commentators and curmudgeons who critique the political, religious, and social sacred toes of true believers; that is, those vested in the political, religious, and social institution being critiqued. Moreover, the method used by commentators and curmudgeons is Heuristic Philologia that means:
A comparative argument built by words that is ideally perfect yet incomplete becasue it is not able to replace the defective original it critiques.
Given this definition of Heuristic Philologia, why would anyone choose to be a commentator or curmudgeon who writes political, religious, and social commentary? The answer is simple: the more self-proclaimed the sacred toes, the more they need stepping on to not only shine the light of truth on them but to deflate their puffed up, self-aggrandized, and all too often omnipotent self-image.
With that thought in mind, Plato would be perfectly at home in today's America that prides itself on its "Democracy", but in fact has slid far to the right into Fascism. That is becasue Plato warned Democracy is not all it is claimed to be. Here is a quotation from the man who wrote Antiquity's definitive book on the character of the ideal nation state titled, The Republic, from whence the Founding Fathers created, "The Republic of the United States of America".
Plato, The Republic, Book IV
Yes, Plato was right. Tyranny naturally arises out of democracy. That is why over the years, I have written hundreds of political, religious, and social commentaries some of which I have shared with friends and colleagues. As a consequence of their positive response and requests to publish them, I have decided to do so. I have given them the collective title, Political, Religious, and Social Commentaries: The Struggle for Dignity, Justice, and Equality in 21st Century America.
To date, three volumes have been published that include the letters A through C.
It is not important whether you as the reader agree or disagree with what I have written. What is important is for those commentaries that are in some way meaningful to you, that to paraphrase the words of Sir Francis Bacon in his essay, Of Studies that you "Read, Mark, Learn, and Inwardly Digest" their contents.
Sir Francis Bacon