If society collapses, do you have the medical supplies you need? Check out “The Medic,” or as I like to call it, the Big Daddy of first aid kits.
Adam Smith helps us see how governmentalizing social affairs makes our sentiments “almost always so sordid and so selfish.”
Article by Daniel B. Klein from AIER.
Though not made explicitly, a distinction emerges in Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments between passive moral sentiments, aptly called emotions, and active moral sentiments, aptly called passions. Such a distinction follows Lord Kames (1762, 37): “An internal motion or agitation of the mind, when it passeth away without desire, is denominated an emotion: when desire follows, the motion or agitation is denominated a passion.”
A taxonomy of other-directed moral sentiments
Mary regards Jim’s conduct and develops sentiments about its propriety or beauty. Sentiments about another’s conduct or character are moral sentiments.
An active sentiment, or passion, is one that motivates. Mary feels a passion if she regards Jim’s conduct and the resultant moral sentiments motivates her toward some action. The action might be other-directed, but that “other” might be someone other than Jim: For example, it might be Jim’s benefactor or Jim’s tormenter. The other-directed passions most central to Smith’s analysis are gratitude and resentment. Gratitude is a positive passion, motivating recompense. Resentment is a negative passion, motivating punishment or retaliation.
A passive sentiment, or emotion, is more about one’s disposition and emotional reaction upon receiving information or thoughts about the person liked or disliked, and doesn’t necessarily motivate action. The other-directed passive sentiments, emotions, most central in the book are, on the positive side, liking and love, and, on the negative side, disliking and hatred.
Two thought experiments
Adam Smith posed two pinky-earthquake thought experiments – the bracketed words in boldface are my insertions:
[Thought experiment 1: passive:] Let us suppose that the great empire of China, with all its myriads of inhabitants, was suddenly swallowed up by an earthquake, and let us consider how a man of humanity in Europe, who had no sort of connexion with that part of the world, would be affected upon receiving intelligence of this dreadful calamity. He would, I imagine, first of all, express very strongly his sorrow for the misfortune of that unhappy people, he would make many melancholy reflections upon the precariousness of human life, and the vanity of all the labours of man, which could thus be annihilated in a moment. He would too, perhaps, if he was a man of speculation, enter into many reasonings concerning the effects which this disaster might produce upon the commerce of Europe, and the trade and business of the world in general. And when all this fine philosophy was over, when all these humane sentiments had been once fairly expressed, he would pursue his business or his pleasure, take his repose or his diversion, with the same ease and tranquillity, as if no such accident had happened. The most frivolous disaster which could befal himself would occasion a more real disturbance. If he was to lose his little finger to-morrow, he would not sleep to-night; but, provided he never saw them, he will snore with the most profound security over the ruin of a hundred millions of his brethren, and the destruction of that immense multitude seems plainly an object less interesting to him, than this paltry misfortune of his own.
Why is MyPillow our oldest sponsor? Because we only accept sponsorship from proven America First patriots. Support Mike Lindell and me by using promo code “JDR.” God Bless America.
[Thought experiment 2: active:] To prevent, therefore, this paltry misfortune to himself, would a man of humanity be willing to sacrifice the lives of a hundred millions of his brethren, provided he had never seen them? Human nature startles with horror at the thought, and the world, in its greatest depravity and corruption, never produced such a villain as could be capable of entertaining it.
[Questions about the two thought experiments:] But what makes this difference? When our passive feelings are almost always so sordid and so selfish, how comes it that our active principles should often be so generous and so noble? When we are always so much more deeply affected by whatever concerns ourselves, than by whatever concerns other men; what is it which prompts the generous, upon all occasions, and the mean upon many, to sacrifice their own interests to the greater interests of others? (TMS, 136-7)
The two thought experiments draw the contrast between passive and active. Our passive sentiments are “almost always so sordid and so selfish,” whereas our active sentiments are more often “so generous and so noble.” Thus, in the passive thought experiment, the pinky looms larger, whereas in the active the earthquake looms larger.
The passivity of rooting for your team, voting, and being governed
I see party politics as more about passive sentiments, emotion, rather than active sentiment or passion. That is, partisanship is more about liking and disliking.
As Paul Simon put it in “Mrs. Robinson”:
Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon
Going to the candidates’ debate
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you’ve got to choose
Every way you look at this you lose
“Stroll around the grounds until you feel at home.” (You will own nothing. And you will be happy.)
“Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?”
What liberalism understands
The governmentalization of social affairs throws us into the passive position, where our sentiments are “almost always so sordid and so selfish.” That is what liberalism understands.
Protect your wealth from Joe Biden, Klaus Schwab, or any of the globalists who want you to own nothing. Our Gold Guy is the American patriot who can help you buy physical precious metals.
Shout it from the rooftops: Governmentalization sucks.
Reprinted with small changes from AdamSmithWorks
- Kames, Lord (Henry Home). 1762 . Elements of Criticism, 2 vols. Ed. P. Jones. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund.
- Smith, Adam. 1790 . The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Edited by D.D. Raphael and A.L. Macfie Indianapolis: Liberty Fund.
Reprinted with small changes from AdamSmithWorks
New Conservative Network Seeks Crowdfunding Help
They say we have to go big or go home. We’re trying to go big and bring the patriotic truth the the nation, but we need help.
Readers may or may not realize that over the past year, we’ve been bringing more conservative news and opinion outlets under our wing. Don’t take our expansion as a sign of riches; all of the “acquisitions” have been through sweat and promises of greater things to come for all involved. As a result, we’ve been able to bring together several independent media sites under a unified vision of preventing America from succumbing to the progressive, “woke,” Neo-Marxist ideologies that are spreading like wildfire across America.
The slow and steady reopening of America is revealing there was a lot more economic hardship brought about from the Covd-19 lockdowns than most realize. While we continue to hope advertising dollars on the sites go up, it’s simply not enough to do things the right way. We are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $3000-$7000 per month. In other words, we’re in the red and hemorrhaging.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring the truth to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well.
As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going.
Thank you and God Bless,
Yes, We Need Your Help
I hate being “that guy” who asks people to donate because I think our conservative news network is so crucial, but here I am…
When I left my cushy corporate job in 2017, I did so knowing that my family would have to make sacrifices. But I couldn’t continue to watch the nation slip into oblivion and was inspired by President Trump’s willingness to fight the good fight even at his own personal expense. What I didn’t realize then is that conservative media would be so heavily attacked, canceled, and defunded that the sacrifices would be extreme.
Many in this nation are struggling right now even though we weren’t struggling just a few years ago. I’m not alone. But I wake up every morning and operate the sites we’ve been able to build because there’s really no other choice. I refuse to be beholden to Big Tech like so many other conservative news outlets, which is why you won’t see Google ads here. With that said, it’s often challenging to pay the bills and it’s even harder to expand so we can get the America First message out to a wider audience.
The economic downturn has forced me to make a plea for help. Between cancel culture, lockdowns, and diminishing ad revenue, we need financial assistance in order to continue to spread the truth. We ask all who have the means, please donate through our new GiveSendGo. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to expand our reach so the truth can get to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
We currently operate:
- NOQ Report
- Conservative Playlist
- Uncanceled News
- Based Underground
- Truth Based Media
- Five other conservative news sites
I would even be willing to entertain investments and partnerships at this stage. I’ve turned them down in the past because editorial purity is extremely important. I’ll turn them down again if anyone wants us to start supporting RINOs or avoid “taboo” topics like voter fraud, vaccines, or transgender supremacy. But I’d talk to fellow America First patriots who want to help any (or all) of our 10 news sites. Hit me up at jdrucker (at) substack (dot) com if you’re interested.
For those who have the means and just want to help keep the mission of spreading a conservative, Christian message to the nation, please consider a generous donation.