The Trivium Meme on The RAGE

This episode is called the Trivium Meme, and was recorded on The RAGE radio show on WTKF 107 (North Carolina) with Katch 22 and Erin Ritter on July 17,2010.

In this episode I strike out to begin teaching the trivium method to a large audience and to facilitate the trivium meme. As they say, the best way to learn something, is to teach it.

  3 comments for “The Trivium Meme on The RAGE

  1. February 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    The definitions you gave for the word “liberal” actually describe classical liberalism, not the form of statism that has been passing itself off as liberalism for over half a century in the USA.

    The fact is that “liberals” have never been liberal.

    Nobody has changed the definition of the word for propaganda purposes. What happened is that leftists hijacked the term, applying it to themselves (incorrectly) and their hypocrisy was exposed by the rise of the so-called conservative media.

    The reality is that “liberal” became a dirty word because it was associated with leftists who advocated big government, confiscatory taxes, social leveling, more centralized control over our lives, foreign intervention, the welfare state, racial quotas in hiring and education, thought control through political correctness, i.e., Social Marxism, etc. etc. In other words, everything that was the exact opposite of what “liberalism” actually means.

    The same thing that happened to the word “liberal” also happened to the word “conservative,” which used to mean classical liberalism. The “conservatives” today are actually neo-conservatives, a political philosophy developed by former Trotskyites.

    The only real liberals left these days are the paleo-conservative/libertarian types like Ron Paul and they are fast becoming a dying breed.

  2. Jan Irvin
    February 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I disagree with you on several points. A) Ron Paul is certainly no liberal. B) I never claimed either that the so-called “left” are liberals.

    Statism is not liberalism. This is the misuse of the word liberal. The word liberal means free and educated. It’s where we get the word book from:

    Here’s what the Oxford dictionary has to say:

    Liberal \’lib(-e)-rel\ adj [ME, fr. MF, fr. L liberalis suitable for a FREEman, generous, fr. liber FREE; akin to OE leodan to grow, Gk eleutheros FREE] (14c) 1 a; of, relating to, or based on the liberal arts < ~education> b archaic; of or befitting a man of FREE birth 2 a; GENEROUS, OPENHANDED < a ~ giver> b: given or provided in a generous and openhanded way < a ~ meal> C: AMPLE, FULL 3 obs : lacking moral restraint : LICENTIOUS 4 : not literal or strict : LOOSE < a ~ translation> 5: BROAD-MINDED; esp : not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms 6 a: of favoring, or based upon the principles of liberalism b cap : of or constituting a political party advocating or associated with the principles of political liberalism; : of or constituting a political party in the United Kingdom associated with ideals of individual esp. economic FREEdom, greater individual participation in government, and constitutional, political, and administrative reforms designed to secure these objectives — \-re-le\adv– n.

    syn LIBERAL, GENEROUS, BOUNTIFUL, MUNIFICENT mean giving FREEly and unstintingly. LIBERAL suggestions openhandedness in the giver and largeness in the thing or amount given; GENEROUS stresses warmhearted readiness to give more than size or importance of the gift; BOUNTIFUL suggest lavish, unremitting giving or providing; MUNIFICENT suggests a scale of giving appropriate to lords of princes.

    2 Liberal n (1816); one who is liberal; as a: one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional or established forms or ways b cap: a member or supporter of a liberal political party c: an advocate or adherent of liberalism esp. in individual rights.

    C) The word’s definition has most certainly been changed. I don’t agree that the “liberals” applied it to themselves either. It serves the dialectic of both sides to use it incorrectly.

    The word liberal was originally associated with the 7 liberal arts and book = liber in Latin. Slaves were not allowed to study the 7 liberal arts, so upon gaining freedom this was one of the first studies undertaken, the 7 liberal arts, to gain freedom of the mind. That’s why the word liberal and freedom are directly associated and why both ruling parties using a false dialectic have misused the word. Altering the meaning of the word prevents many from discovering and properly undertaking a study of the liberal arts.

    I recommend going to the podcast page and hearing episodes 41 – 51 as a starting point for the 7 liberal arts of the trivium and quadrivium. You can also go to my site here:

  3. February 20, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Ron Paul probably wouldn’t call himself a classical liberal, but he fits the definition. He definitely believes in “individual, esp. economic freedom, etc.” At the moment, the paleoconservatives, libertarians and some anarchists are probably the only ones who can be called classical liberals in the political sense.

    I never said that you claimed the left are liberals. Not sure where that came from. Nevertheless, I think it’s accurate to say that the majority of people calling themselves liberals are leftists of one kind or another–in the political sense of the word. Anyone can be “liberal” in the sense of being generous or open-minded.

    “Statism is not liberalism.” Exactly. That’s my point. “Liberal” became a dirty word because the so-called liberals weren’t actually liberals. They were statists, to put it mildly. Their own behavior made “liberal” a dirty word, so they’re now calling themselves “progressives.” They don’t really believe in individual rights, but in class rights and only for certain categories of people, and they’re only tolerant about things they already agree with.

    I agree that the word’s definition has changed and that both sides use it incorrectly, but you didn’t say anything about “both sides” in your interview (as far as I remember). You said that neocon mouthpieces like Rush Limbaugh were using it incorrectly to smear their political enemies. That’s a completely different claim.

    I’m familiar with the Trivium, though I’ve never heard it called that before. Personally, I’d recommend “Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student”–a great book–and Schopenhauer’s book “The Art of Controversy,” recently re-released under the title “The Art of Always Being Right (38 Ways To Win When You’re Defeated”–a nice overview of Sophist rhetorical techniques that are used all the time.

    As for protecting yourself from advertising techniques and political propaganda, I’ve found that the easiest thing is to just turn all that stuff off. There’s no need to analyze the pitches made in commercials if you don’t watch TV and it’s easier and more reliable to just assume that all politicians are lying all the time. If you want to know what a politician is going to do or what to expect from their policies, just take the opposite of whatever they say and ninety per cent of the time you’ll be right on the money.

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